pensacola-gaz-half-front.jpgBelonged to Florida’s First Senator, James D. Westcott
Illustrated Runaway Slave Notices
“New”Florida Mail Route
Sam Houston elected a Senator from new state of Texas

Pensacola Gazette
March 8, 1846

Here is the only copy of the Pensacola Gazette we have ever located, and in outstanding, nicely-preserved condition to boot!  But, what shocked us even more was the ink subscriber’s signature (written at the top of the front page at the newspaper office)–this issue was the personal copy of one of Florida’s first two senators, James D. Westcott (1802-1880), and was actually sent to him overland in his Washington, DC office.  Westcott helped write the Florida’s first Territorial constitution, and was Florida’s Secretary of State from 1830-1834, performing the duties of Governor.  Upon the admission of Florida as a state in 1845, Westcott was elected senator serving until 1849.

The newspaper itself contains important news from Texas (the legendary Sam Houston was elected a senator) and Mexico (Mexican War), a new mail route listing numerous Florida cities and towns, and also several Runaway Slave notices with illustrations. I especially like the early Florida advertisements and businesses, and of course, the many ads for “cure-alls” – pills and potions that would supposedly cure every known disease from coughs to cancer!

As far as we can tell from our resources, this is in all likelihood the sole surviving issue of this particular date.  The ultimate early Florida newspaper for a collector, or one of the best and most thoughtful gifts anyone could give to a family member, friend or business associate.  And, a priceless conversation piece?  Your friends will be absolutely astonished!