Nicole Brown


Little is known about the life of Floridian Fred Cubberly, despite his importance in the legal and political history of Florida in the early twentieth century. This is unfortunate. He played a key role in initiating the United States Department of Justice's decades-long campaign against peonage, a form of slavery. His efforts led to the U.S. Supreme Court's 1905 decision that secured the federal government's authority to prosecute perpetrators of this crime. In the course of his career he was a mine superintendent, lawyer, U.S. Customs Collector, U.S. District Commissioner, U.S. District Attorney, Gainesville Municipal Judge, candidate for Florida Attorney General, a significant figure in Florida's Republican Party, and tenth President of the Florida Historical Society. He did well for a man whose formal classroom education ended with the second year of high school.