In 1908, Florida’s first Governor’s mansion was occupied by one of Florida’s largest, most distinguished families. The family of Governor Napoleon Bonaparte Broward, his wife, First Lady Annie Douglass Broward, and 8 daughters, including Annie Dorcas, Josephine, Enid, Elsie, Ella, Agnes, Florida, and Elizabeth.  A son, Napoleon, would be born in 1910 just before the death of the Governor. Annie Douglass Broward designed the china for the house and organized events to showcase literature and art. She was an avid painter, a prolific reader, and a feisty public policy and media follower as she advised the Governor in his professional and private life.

The Latest from Girls On The Porch

  • PORTRAIT DAY at Florida’s First Governor’s Mansion – All girls
    Dorcas and Josephine, the oldest of Napoleon and Annie’s eight daughters were growing used to the spotlight in Tallahassee. They were the walking, talking embodiment of their father and mother’s relentless ambition to lead the state of Florida into a new century. “Mother, I’m going to help the girls get out of their portrait clothes and into something they can play in now,” Josephine announced as the state photographer excused the children from the portrait … Read more
  • “Bay of Pigs & The Taxpayers’ Whorehouses” Annie Douglass Broward Hall
    My great-grandmother dreamed of going to Vassar College while growing up in New York City. Vassar was founded in 1861 to offer higher education for women in the United States. Annabelle, as she was affectionately called by her Scottish immigrant grandparents, was encouraged to dream big. Her mother Margaret Anne had died giving birth to Annie. Her grief-stricken father, who worked on boats and ships in New York harbor during the Civil War years, had … Read more
  • Hereditary Diseases! Pandemics! And Quarantines!
    “My Dear Dear Wife,” that’s how Napoleon, my great grandfather, begins his letter to his new wife Annie, my great grandmother. In the Summer of 1888, Annie had gone to visit her family in New York City. Now her husband pleads with her not to come home. August 24th, 1888 Jacksonville, Florida My Dear Dear Wife, We are quarantined all around by other states and counties and the outlook is anything but encouraging. I would … Read more

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