David Yulee Statue at the Fernandina Train Station, Amelia Island, Florida by DawnaMoorePhotography “David Levy Yulee was Floridaâs first United States Senator and the builder of Floridaâs first cross-state railroad. He was born David Levy in 1810 on St. Thomas, British West Indies. David Levy was elected to the United States Senate in 1845, becoming the nationâs first Jewish senator. The next year he added the name of his fatherâs Sephardic ancestry, Yulee. Yulee operated sugar plantations on the Homosassa River and in Alachua County and organized Floridaâs first railroad in the 1850s, linking the Atlantic and Gulf coasts. When the Civil War broke out in 1861, Yulee served in the Confederate Congress. He was briefly imprisoned following the war, and went on to rebuild his railroad, which had been destroyed.” (waymarking)

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