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Federal Point Families

Cornelius Dupont and Family-The Orignal Settlers of Federal Point

Cornelius Dupont was born August 7, 1824. He had 6 brothers and 5 sisters. His parents were Abraham and Jane Vermier (Emily) Pepper married on Jan 1, 1807.  Jane died March 4, 1828. Abraham married Sarah Ann Ellis on Jan 2, 1831 and the family moved to Florida in February of that year. She was born in July 1, 1782 and died in October of 1857. They settled in St, Augustine.

 

On March 31,1843 Cornelius Dupont Petitioned for Property  Under the Armed Occupation Act. This property was listed as Lot 7, Section 13, Lots 8, and 9, Section 14 Range 30, T.S. 10. This petition was approved March 31, 1843. He petitioned again for more property on July 27, 1843 with this property listed as Lots 9,10,15,16, Section 14, Range 30, and T.S, 10. This petition was approved on July 27, 1843. These lots were all adjoining and consisted of 320 acres. They are located on the south side of Pellicer Creek where it intersected at the Kings Highway. This is now highway US 1 at the Southern St. Johns County Line. Disposistion of this property is unknown.

 

On February 9, 1847 he married Sabina Crespo the daughter of Manuel and Jane Crespo. Cornelius and Jane had two children, Crespo Victor born abt 1849 and Benjamin Edward Dupont born January 29, 1852. Sabina divorced Cornelius in April 1852 because of his "habitual intemperance".  Further she was awarded custody of the minor children, Crespo and Benjamin--which he violated keeping the children from her.  She married a man in Jacksonville named Price and eventually it appears got the matter resolved favorably in April 1858.  Cornelius got slapped with a fine of $1000.00 per child. (Putnam County Archives)

 

He married Frances Solano January 16, 1854. She was born in St. Augustine in 1834. She was the daughter of Crispin Mateo Solano and Manuela Sebia Fontanet. They had five children:

Cornelius Dupont was born in 1858 in St. Augustine

Daniel Dupont was born in 1860.

Mary Dupont was born in 1863

Catherine was born in 1865

Charles Agustus Dupont was born January 7, 1868 in St. Augustine, Florida and died June 3, 1929 in Jacksonville, Florida

(Barbara Apodaca-ggranddaughter)

 

  Sarah I. Madison sold 1000 acres  to Cornelius Dupont for $2500 on September 6, 1858. (deed book 32- page 178)

 

In 1860, he is listed as owning ten slaves--6 women and 4 men. He had 90 acres of improved land, 1050 acres of unimproved land with a cash value of the farm as $10,000. Also included in this was Farm Implements and Machinery for $150 and Livestock valued at $600.(Agriculture Census)

 

Then came the Civil War, the greatest man-made disaster to ever occur in the Unbited States.

On April 15, 1861 President Lincoln called for 75,000 volunteers to put down the "insurrection" in the South. On May 16,1861 the Confederate Congress authorized the recruiting of 400,000 men. Governor John Milton of Florida supported Confederate recruiting efforts and stripped the state of available men. His determination and the patriotic response of Floridians gave that least populated of Southern states the distinction of having the most men, per capita, in the  Confederate Army.

Cornelius Dupont was drafted. He left Fanny and three small children at home to take care of the farm. It appears that the slaves were supportive of her and the family, however in April of 1863 the war came home.

 

The following is taken from a letter by:

THOS. T. RUSSELL. To Brigadier General JOSEPH FINEGAN;

RESIDENCE, EAST BANK SAINT JOHN'S [RIVER],

Near Palatka, Fla., April 2, 1863.

Brigadier  General  JOSEPH FINEGAN:

SIR: On Monday, the 23 ultimo, a large side-wheel steamer came up the river as

far as Palatka and fired four shells over the town. She then returned to Orange

Mill, and lay off that place until 2 o'clock Tuesday evening, and went down the

river. While at the mill the Yankees butchered a beef, killed several sheep,

and took on board a Negro man named John, belonging to Mr. Frank Hernandez.

On Thursday morning a large propeller came up the river and lay off the mill

until evening, when she came up opposite Palatka, abreast of the residence of

Mr. Antonio Baza. A large force of Negroes was landed from the propeller at the

residence of Mr. C. Dupont, and also at Orange Mill, which said force marched

by land to Mr. Baza's and Mr. Sanchez's place, opposite Palatka, where they

joined the force on board the propeller. This force by land visited the

plantation of Colonel Dancy and caught two of his Negroes, one of which

afterward escaped. They cooked and ate at this place and carried off all the

poultry. The colonel's place on the river was also ransacked by the Negroes.

They also visited the plantation of Major Balling, destroying all they could,

but did not succeed in getting any Negroes, as, fortunately, they had been

removed a few days previous. This land force, on arriving at the residences of

Messrs. Sanchez and Baza, surrounded the places, and took 3 Negroes from Mr.

Morris Sanchez and other things of value from the yard. They did not succeed in

catching Mr. Baza's Negroes, but took from him three horses and one cart, all

of his poultry, hogs, pots, salt, and everything else they could lay their

hands upon. They also butchered two beeves in the yard. The Negroes kept the

houses surrounded, and abused and insulted the women just as they pleased. They

encamped that night on the banks of the river in Mr. Baza's field.

On Friday morning the propeller started and proceeded slowly over to Palatka

and went up to the wharf, landed a number of men on the wharf, and was in the

act of landing some artillery, when Captain  J. J. Dickison and his company,

who had been patiently waiting, fired into them. The propeller then, as fast as

steam could carry her, backed out from the wharf, firing shell, grape,

canister, and small-arms. After they fired for a while she proceeded over the

river to Mr. Baza's point, and communicated with a company of Negroes that had

been left over there. The company of Negroes then proceeded back by land to

Orange Mill, and the propeller went back down the river and took them on board.

Every vestige of furniture was taken by the Negroes from the residences of Dr.

R. G. Mays, Major  E. C. Simkins [quartermaster], and Major  A. H. Cole

[quartermaster]. Mr. Antonio Baza was taken prisoner by the Negroes, but

succeeded in making his escape. The Yankees on the way down the river again

stopped at the residence of Mr. C. Dupont and Demanded the Negroes who were

hid, stating if the Negroes were not immediately delivered they would burn the

houses. Mrs. Dupont, who was much alarmed, accordingly delivered up the

negroes, against the wishes and urgent appeals.

 

In a conversation with Colonel Montgomery, of the Negro regiment (I having been

surrounded and taken prisoner, but afterward released), he informed me that he

had come up for the purpose of permanently occupying Palatka, and that they

intended restoring Florida to the Union at all hazards; that he would have a

force of some 5,000 men at Palatka in a few days; that they had been acting in

a mild way all along, but that they intended now to let us feel what war

actually was; that the United States marshal for Florida was along and pointed

him out to me; that all the Negroes were declared free and he intended to take

all he could find.

 

Thus you will perceive, general, what we are to expect, and had it not been for

the brave and gallant conduct of Captain Dickison, his officers and men,

Palatka would this day have been in possession of the Negro enemy. Captain

Diskison has been one of the most untiring and energetic officers I have ever

met with. He is always on the alert, and had he sufficient force would never

let the enemy land on either side of the river up here. I visited Palatka since

the propeller left, and from the great quantity of blood about on the wharf and

pieces of bones picked up many of the enemy evidently were killed. Every bullet

fired by Captain Dickinson's men must have took effect. This company deserves

the thanks of the people of Florida and the Government, for I think they have

well merited the same.

 

Allow me, general, to suggest to you the propriety of taking some action in

regard to the vast quantity of cattle on the east side of the Saint John's, as

the enemy are continually butchering for the use of their troops, and as the

 citizens are entirely helpless to defend themselves.

 

All of which is respectfully submitted by your obedient servant,

 

THOS. T. RUSSELL. (Official Records of the Civil War)

 

When Cornelius Dupont came home the farm was devastated. He tried to rebuild but it was inevitably to be a failure. At this time John F. Tenney had returned to Florida to stay. He made many trips up and down the River looking for a place to settle.

On one of these trips a white flag was displayed on the bank of the river at Federal Point, then called Dupont's Landing, that contained just one house occupied by Mr. Cornelius Dupont and family.  We answered the flag and were requested to bring from Jacksonville numerous articles of food, which we did, and thus began our negotiations for the purchase of their property.  Mr. Dupont was a man in feeble health, who, before the abolition of slavery, owned several slaves, whose hire afforded him ample support.  When we found him his slaves were gone; he had but little land under cultivation.  He had lost all his large deposits by the failure of his bankers in Charleston, S. C.  With several small children to support, with wholly insufficient health and strength to clear land or perform the arduous labors of the field, he was glad to find a purchaser for his ---to him---useless acres. (Florida Memories by John F. Tenney)

 

Cornelius Dupont and wife Fanny V. Dupont sold 1000 acres minus that of said lot that was sold to Peter Murphy, to John C. Folsom and John F. Tenney for the sum of $1500 on July 14, 1868. (Deed book 32- page 181

 

From this day on Federal Point was broken into many small parcels of varying sizes.

 

Cornelius Dupont, Fanny and their children moved to St. Augustine. They were listed in the 1870 Federal Census with Cornelius (48) Fany, (35), Cornelius (12), Daniel (10) Mary (7), Catherine (5) and Augustus (2).

He died in 1877. He is buried in St. Augustine.

There are many descendents of Cornelius in St. Augustine, Cresent Beach, Dupont Center and the surrounding area. (John Brown)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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