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Francis Watlington

Francis Watlington (1804-1887) Mariner, Pilot, Sea Captain. Born in St. Croix, V.I., he moved to Key West in the early 1830s with his young wife Emeline. Together they had nine daughters and resided in Key West’s “Oldest House.” Francis Watlington was highly respected in Key West, as a founder of St. Paul’s church and of the temperance union. By the time of the 1850 census, he had naturalized himself as a U.S. citizen, as you can see on his stone his “revised” birthplace as New York City. His daughters continued to list their father’s birthplace as St. Croix.  He was elected to the Florida State Legislature prior to the Civil War. Francis left Union held Key West during the Civil War and served as a lieutenant in the Confederate Navy around Mobile Bay, until capture in 1864. After the war, he was estranged from his family until after his wife died in 1881. Returning to Key West by1885, he died two years later at age 83.