About Richard Keith Call
Richard Keith Call (October 24, 1792 – September 14, 1862) was the third and fifth territorial governor of Florida.
Named after his uncle, a Revolutionary War hero, he was born in Pittsfield, Prince George County, Virginia. In 1813 he left school to take part in the Creek War. He came favorably to the attention of General Andrew Jackson, and came to Florida in 1814 as his personal aide. He returned with General Jackson in 1821 to establish the territorial government after the United States acquired Florida from Spain in the Adams-Onís Treaty. In 1822, he decided to make Florida his home and opened a legal practice. In 1824 he married Mary Letitia Kirkman of Nashville at General Jackson's home, the Hermitage .
He was on the Legislative Council of the territory and served as a Delegate to the U.S. Congress. On March 16, 1836, he was appointed by President Andrew Jackson as the governor of the territory. During this first term, he led the Florida militia in fighting the Seminole Indians, winning victories at the second and third Battles of Wahoo Swamp. He was replaced as governor by President Martin Van Buren on December 2, 1839 following a dispute with Federal authorities over their assistance in the war. He crossed party lines to assist the presidential campaign of William Henry Harrison, who appointed him again as Governor. During this second term as governor, which began on March 19, 1841, he moved the territory closer to statehood and tried to minimize the financial problems that Florida experienced due to bank failures and a national business depression. He left office on August 11, 1844. In 1845 Florida became a State, and he again sought election as governor, but his role in the election of President Harrison adversely affected his campaign.
During the 1830s, he constructed two plantations on land that he purchased in Leon County. Orchard Pond Plantation was located north of Tallahassee and The Grove Plantation was located on Tallahassee's northern outskirts. Today it is on the National Register of Historic Places. The estate later became the home of Governor LeRoy Collins, and his wife Mary Call Collins, the great granddaughter of Richard Call. Richard Keith Call died at The Grove on September 14, 1862.
Call was the uncle of US Senator Wilkinson Call.
There are several streets in Florida named after Richard K. Call. Call Streets are in Tallahassee, Starke, Jacksonville, Hollywood, and High Springs.
In 1944, a United States Liberty ship named the SS Richard K. Call was launched.
He was the third (March 16,1836 and fifty territorial Governor
(March 19, 1841)of Florida. The son of Captain William and Helen Meade (Walker) Call and the namesake nephew of Major Richard Keith Call, a Revolutionary War hero. Young Call left Mount Pleasant Academy, near Clarksville, Tennassee in 1813 for the Creek War in which his conduct endeared him to General Andrew Jackson, whose personal aide he was thereafter.
He first came to Florida in 1814 with Jackson as a soldier and returned with him to Pensacola in 1821 to set up the American Government for the new Territory. In 1822 he decided to make Florida his civilian home, first as a lawyer in Pensacola. Successively he was a member of the Legislative Council, delegate to Congress, receiver of the West Florida Land Office, brigadier general of the West Florida mulitia and territorial Governor, he routed the Indians in the second and third battles of Wahoo Swamp. He was removed as Governor because of a controversy with federal authorities of help for Florida in the Indian conflict.
Although a democrat, he canvassed in the North for the Whig candidate, William Henry Harrison, who subsequently appointed him to his old place of Governor. When Florida became a seate in 1845, he was a candicate for Gouvernor but was defeated, largely because of his part in the election of Harrison. He was married in General Jackson's home, the "Hermitage" to Mary Letitia Kirkman of Nashville. Call's home in Tallahassee, "The Grove" built in the 1830's remains today a place of architectural and historic distinction.