Clifton Paisley


Leon was the largest and richest county in Florida at the outbreak of the Civil War. Its population numbered 12,343, and its property was assessed at $8,843,095 in 1860. It led the state in agriculture; its farms were valued at $2,482,211, and during the crop year 1859 they produced 16,686 bales of cotton, 421,654 bushels of corn, and 136,038 bushels of sweet potatoes. It ranked third in manufacturing. Twenty-six establishments in 1859 employed 239 male and seven female workers and produced products worth $261,200. The county, like the rest of Florida and the South, suffered grievous economic losses during the war. Emancipation freed 9,089 slaves which represented a capital loss of $4,469,440.1 Leon suffered a heavy casualty toll also; over 200 households suffered the loss of a father, husband, son, or brother. Many men were also crippled and disabled.