The only carpetbagger boss of a Negro county machine to become governor of Florida, Union Army veteran Marcellus L. Stearns, sought reelection as the Republican candidate in 1876. Born at Lovell, Maine, on April 29, 1839, Stearns at the outbreak of the Civil War was a student at Waterville College, Maine. He left there in 1861 in answer to President Lincoln’s call for volunteers. Losing an arm in the hard fighting in the Shenandoah Valley at the Battle of Winchester, he transferred to the Freedmen’s Bureau, and first came to Florida in 1866, being stationed as an official of the Bureau at Quincy.
Williamson, Edward C.
"The Election of 1876 in Florida, by Marcellus L. Stearns, Republican Candidate for Governor,"
Florida Historical Quarterly: Vol. 32:
2, Article 4.
Available at: https://stars.library.ucf.edu/fhq/vol32/iss2/4