William WEST

Submitted by Descendant:  Elizabeth STRONG

William West was born in Barsham, England, about 1798, traveled by ship to the United States in 1819 and after residing in New York and South Carolina, arrived in Jefferson County about 12 February 1830.  On 25 November 1830, William West swore allegiance to the Territory and expressed his plans to become a U.S. citizen.  In this early period of his arrival, he acted as a “nominal” overseer for the Murat Negroes brought by Thomas Randall to a Miccosukee plantation.  This was done to satisfy a Florida law requiring a white man to live on every plantation cultivated by slaves.

In the 1850 census, William West is shown as a hotel keeper and the jailer with five prisoners listed; four prisoners are accused of murder and one of kidnapping.

In the 1860s, William West owns a steam sawmill on Miccosukee Lake and is growing cotton, corn, sugar cane, and sweet potatoes.  He is shown as owning a number of slaves.  By 1871, he identifies himself as a retired Cotton Planter.

William West was married to Harriet and had five children-Susan, John, Harriet, Henry, and Emmala.  He was a Deacon at the Ebenezer Baptist church.  William West died about 1884.

William West was first established as a Florida Pioneer in 2011