Madison Post - 5th Mayor Of Tampa

Madison Post - 5th Mayor Of Tampa

Madison PostBorn: January 22, 1815

Died: September 10, 1867

Term: February 10, 1858 - February 12, 1859

Born in New Jersey, Post moved to Tampa in 1849 less than ayear after the great hurricane of 1848 had destroyed much of Tampa. At first, heworked as the manager of the Tampa Hotel but later Post purchased a generalstore on Lafayette Street (now Kennedy Boulevard). Politically active, MadisonPost was an early member of the American Party ("Know-Nothings") whostrongly supported a pro-slavery, anti-immigration and anti-Catholic platform.In 1854, Post was appointed as Receiver of Public Moneys for HillsboroughCounty. Post joined Dr. Darwin Branch and Edward Clarke as delegates to theAmerican Party's Presidential Convention which nominated former PresidentMillard Fillmore as their candidate. After Fillmore lost the presidentialelection to James Buchanan in November 1856, the American Party quicklydisintegrated.

Madison Post focused on local politics and on February 10,1858 was elected for a one-year term as Mayor of Tampa. Confronted with apractically empty treasury, Post and the City Council substantially increasedlicense fees and established new ordinances which soon re-established Tampa'sfinancial resources. Post had also attempted to make some capital improvementsto the City but his short term of office impeded his plans for Tampa. AlthoughPost was not directly involved, a State Board of Health was established in early1859 to better control the spread of yellow fever. Post had attempted to workwith port physician and former mayor, Darwin Branch to establish standards thatwould improve the thoroughness and efficiency of inspections and maintain aneffective means to quarantine those infected with yellow fever. In 1859, anepidemic of yellow fever swept through Tampa leaving a huge death toll includingDarwin Branch and his family as well as many others.

With the outbreak of the Civil War, Post enlisted as aprivate in the Confederate Infantry, served as a Confederate Deputy Marshall inFlorida and as a tax assessor for Florida's Confederate government. After theCivil War, radical republican administrators established the political machineryto practically ensure the election of Republican candidates in municipal, countyand state governments. As a staunch Democrat,Madison Post along with other Floridians, despised the presence of therepublican administrators and their systematic destruction of traditionalSouthern institutions.

Madison Post passed away in Tampa on September 10, 1867.


Sources for this Biographical Sketch:

Covington, Dr. James W. and Wavering, Debbie Lee, "The Mayors of Tampa:A Brief Administrative History," Tampa, FL: University of Tampa, 1987.

Grismer, Karl H., Tampa: A History of the City and the Tampa Bay Region ofFlorida, St. Petersburg Printing Company, FL, 1950.

Robinson, Ernest L., History of Hillsborough County, Florida: Narrative andBiographical, The Record Company, St. Augustine, FL, 1928.

Tampa Council Minutes, Cityof Tampa Archives, Tampa, FL

January 1, 1857 - October 2, 1891 Microfilm Roll # 1