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
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
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
The following is taken from a letter by:
THOS. T. RUSSELL. To Brigadier General JOSEPH FINEGAN;
RESIDENCE, EAST BANK SAINT JOHN'S [RIVER],
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
and took on board a Negro man named John, belonging to Mr. Frank
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
by land to Mr. Baza's and Mr. Sanchez's place, opposite Palatka,
joined the force on board the propeller. This force by land
plantation of Colonel Dancy and caught two of his Negroes, one
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
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
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,
canister, and small-arms. After they fired for a while she proceeded
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
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
hid, stating if the Negroes were not immediately delivered they
would burn the
houses. Mrs. Dupont, who was much alarmed, accordingly delivered
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
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
Palatka would this day have been in possession of the Negro
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
let the enemy land on either side of the river up here. I visited
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.
fired by Captain Dickinson's men must have took effect. This
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,
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.
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)
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
this day on Federal Point was broken into many small parcels of varying sizes.
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).
in 1877. He is buried in St. Augustine.
are many descendents of Cornelius in St. Augustine, Cresent Beach, Dupont Center and the surrounding area. (John Brown)