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Daniel Wilson Carlton

By Spessard Stone



Daniel W. Carlton, a pioneer settler of Nocatee, was a veteran of the Third Seminole War, cattleman, and patriarch of a prominent South Florida family.

Daniel Wilson Carlton was born July 2, 1823, Wilmington County, North Carolina. With his parents, Alderman and Martha Maria (Alderman) Carlton, he moved to Georgia in the 1820s.

At Thomasville, Georgia on February 18, 1840, Daniel was married by the Rev. Crawford Tucker to Sallie Ann Murphy, born October 15, 1823 in North Carolina. Her given name also appears as Sarah, but she was known as Sallie.

When Alderman Carlton received his Armed Occupation Act permit on May 10, 1843 at Newnansville, Florida, he stated he'd become a Florida resident in January 1843. It would appear, however, that Daniel moved to Florida in late 1843 or 1844 as censuses show that his oldest sons, Reuben and Wright, were born in Georgia, and Albert, the third child, was born in Florida.

After first living in Alachua or Marion counties, the family moved to Hillsborough County, Florida where they were enumerated as neighbors of Alderman Carlton in the Alafia Settlement in the 1850 census. The Moseley map of 1855 showed Alderman Carlton then residing near the Campground branch on the Fort Meade and Fort Frazier road.

During the Third Seminole War, Daniel W. Carlton served as a private from December 29, 1855 to August 1856 in Capt. Francis M. Durrance's Company, Florida Mounted Volunteers. On June 14, 1856, Indians attacked the Willoughby Tillis place, one and one-half miles south of Fort Meade.

Lt. Alderman Carlton of Capt. F. M. Durrance’s Company, was on a visit to his family at Fort Meade. Hearing the gunfire, he gathered six men, Daniel Wilson Carlton and Lott Whidden of Durrance’s Company; John Henry Hollingsworth, William McCullough, and William Parker of Capt. William B. Hooker's Co. and John C. Oates of Capt. Lesley’s Company, and they quickly rode to the relief of the besieged.

As they neared, the Indians fled to a nearby thicket, which gave them the defensive advantage. Upon reaching the house, the militiamen asked: “Where are they gone?” Tillis replied, “Through the field.” The volunteers, four on one side the field and three on the other, charged the Indians, and, in the resulting fight, Lt. Carlton, William Parker, and Lott Whidden were killed. Daniel Carlton’s horse was shot down, and he was wounded, as was John Henry Hollingsworth and John C. Oates.

Capt. William B. Hooker on June 19, 1856 further elaborated:

“Lieut. Carlton, after securing Wm. Parker, was shot down, and gave his gun to Oats, saying: ‘I am done, take my gun and kill one.’ Oats ran up and said, ‘Give me Parker, and I will try to carry him away.’ Oats then picked up Parker to pass him on to Carlton, who immediately said, ‘I have got it too,’ so he laid Parker down, and ran in between the Indians and Hollingsworth, whose wound, at first, only allowed him to crawl, getting better, he was able to pull himself up by a small tree, where Oats helped him on his horse, and when the Indians would charge them, Oats would present his gun, as if he was going to fire on them, then they would fall to the ground. In this way, they got off with the wounded Hollingsworth.

“During this time, the Indians would curse the white men-one, behind a stump, lying wounded, cursed Oats, and tried to throw rotten wood in his face, till he left him for dead. One charged on William McCullough, as in a fistcuff fight, they, striking and fending off with their empty guns, had it round and round, till McCullough threw down his gun, clenched the Indian, and threw him down, and caught and held his wrists until D. Carlton ran to his assistance and cut the Indian's throat, leaving him for dead. They were heard several times to say, ‘Watch that fellow,' meaning the wounded Hollingsworth.

“The little band left with their wounded, leaving three dead men and three horses on the battle-ground and it appears that the savages were willing to be getting off too, by leaving one on the ground with his gun beside him. This Indian was afterwards found by those of our party who went to look for the dead, and the doctor had him hitched to the axle tree of the cart and hauled into camp, for anatomical study.

“In this gallant fight, we had three men killed and three wounded, of the latter Oats, slightly by a ball passing near the left corner of the left eye; Daniel Carlton, wounded in the arm, between the wrist and elbow-they will soon recover. Hollingsworth's wound is the worst, the ball being lodged against the backbone under the shoulder blade; but it is thought he will recover.”

On August 20, 1856 Daniel enlisted as a private in Capt. Leroy G. Lesley's Independent Company, Florida Mounted Volunteers and was honorably discharged February 19, 1857 at Fort Brooke. At his enlistment he was later (January 24, 1902 and July 30, 1902) described by Sallie as being: 5 feet 8 inches, with grey eyes, light hair, light complexion, and farmer by occupation.

In the late 1850s, the family resettled at Troublesome Creek, between present-day Wauchula and Ona, in Manatee (now Hardee) County, Florida. Daniel and Sarah A. Carlton were enumerated in household # 43/43 (the Fort Hartsuff area) in the 1860 Manatee census.

Daniel participated in civic affairs. On April 19, 1859, Enoch Daniel, John Parker, and Daniel were appointed trustees of Manatee County School District # 3 (the eastern part of the county). Jean Plowden on page 17 of his History of Hardee County related of Daniel's early contribution to the Troublesome Creek settlement:

"At that settlement there was established the first school in this county. This was a log house and was upstairs. It was opened especially for Mr. Carlton's children, and a teacher was employed by him, but the neighbors, few that they were, were invited to send their children in to this school. If they could pay, very well and good; if not, then they might send the children anyway. This was the only school south of the settlement of Fort Meade, sixteen miles to the north."

During the Civil War, Daniel initially ardently supported the Confederate cause, but Capt. Henry Crane of Company A, Second Florida Cavalry, United States Army, wrote on June 18, 1864 to Brig. Gen. Woodbury in Key West of Daniel’s then drastically altered status:

"Another case is that of old Mr. Carlton, who drove his sons in the Rebel Army, with shouts of exultation. The Rebs have we hear, carried him off in Irons northward. One of his sons [Reuben] at home on furlough, seeing his father treated thus, came to us & I have the pleasure to-day of seeing him bear arms directly under our glorious old Banner."

After the Civil War, Daniel appeared as a member of the Republican Party. He was one of an unofficial group, who with a committee, met on April 9, 1866 with the county commissioners of Manatee County, which body voted to move the courthouse from Manatee to what became Pine Level, the new county seat. At a mass meeting held at Pine Level on February 17, 1880, Andrew Green (son of James D. Green, for whom Fort Green was named) was appointed secretary of the Manatee County Republican Committee and Daniel Carlton was named to the County Executive Committee.

Daniel and Sarah were listed in township 33, household 80/80 in the 1870 census of Manatee County. In the 1870s, the family resettled at Nocatee in Manatee County (now DeSoto County). A cattleman, Daniel was taxed on 2,000 head of cattle, 4 horses, and 4 hogs in 1873. Daniel and Sarah were recorded in precinct # 9, Fort Ogden, in the 1880 Manatee County census.

Daniel and Sallie were of the Baptist faith and were members of Mt. Moriah Baptist Church. Daniel had been baptized on October 24, 1873. In 1875, he, along with the Rev. James M. Hendry and Capt. John W. Whidden, was a member of a delegation headed by the Rev. John W. Hendry, which petitioned for dismissal from the South Florida Baptist Association, which was approved the following year and resulted in the creation of the Manatee Missionary Baptist Association. Along with Alderman Carlton, T. Denison, and Maxwell Whidden, he was a delegate from Mt. Moriah to the Fifth Annual Session of the Manatee Missionary Baptist Association, which convened at Mt. Moriah on November 12, 1880.

In November 1877, while the family was attending a camp meeting at Joshua Creek, it was noted that Daniel was: "...a veritable patriarch. He has 48 children and grandchildren, and has never lost a member of his family. Counting his sons' wives, there were fifty-six and all on the ground..."

Daniel Wilson Carlton died April 2, 1891 at Nocatee and was buried in Joshua Creek Cemetery.

On January 24, 1902, Sallie Ann Carlton applied for a pension as the widow of Daniel W. Carlton of Capt. Leroy G. Lesley's Company. She gave her post office address as Arcadia, DeSoto County, Fla. John W. Whidden, 62, and James McBride, 58, both of Arcadia, gave sworn statements that they knew Sallie was the wife of Daniel W. Carlton and had known her respectively for 49 or more years and 35 years. On July 30, 1902, Sallie Ann Carlton, aged 79, a resident of Arcadia, DeSoto County, Florida, stated that she was the widow of Daniel W. Carlton, who had served in companies commanded by Leroy G. Lesley and F. M. Durrance, “that she was married under the name of Sallie Ann Carlton (nee Murphy), to said Daniel W. Carlton on the 18 day of Feb, 1840, by Crawford Tucker, at Thomasville, State of Ga,” that “at the time of entering the service claimed for, her said husband was 34 years of age, 5 feet 8 inches in height, with Grey eyes, Light hair, Light complexion, by occupation a Farmer, and “that he was born in the County of Wilmington, State of North Carolina.” For "Affidavit as to Family Records" on October 20, 1903, Sallie A. Carlton, 81, post office address Wauchula, Fla., a transcript from the family Bible showed: “Daniel W Carlton born July 2 1823 married Feb 18 1840 [&] Sallie Ann Carlton (nee Murphy) born Oct 15 1823.” Elam B. Carlton and A. Yancy Teachy witnessed her mark. In November 1903, Welles Murphy of Ona, DeSoto County, Fla. in an affidavit declared: "She is my sister. Her name was Sallie Ann Murphy until she married Daniel W. Carlton." Her claim was approved under certificate no. 6328, and she was last paid at $8 per month to February 4, 1905.

Sallie Ann Carlton died on April 15, 1905 and was buried in Joshua Creek Cemetery.

Issue of Daniel Wilson Carlton and Sallie Ann (Murphy) Carlton:

1.Reuben Carlton, born December 16, 1842; died September 12, 1917; married (1) April 20, 1866, Elizabeth Crews, daughter of Dempsey Dubois and Piety (Collier) Crews; (2) October 14, 1897 Rhoda (Starling) Meredith.
2. Wright Carlton, born September 17, 1843; died October 11, 1929; married March 1, 1866 Mrs. Charlotte (Albritton) Hooker, daughter of Thomas H. and Frances (Waldron) Albritton.
3. Albert Carlton, born May 9, 1845; died September 1, 1925; married on October 11, 1868 Martha Winfield McEwen, daughter of Rev. William Penn McEwen and Rutha (Sheppard) McEwen.
4. Martha Jane Carlton, born February 3, 1847; died January 5, 1933; married on January 17, 1864 James E. Whidden, son of Willoughby and Eliza (Pennington) Whidden.
5. Alderman Carlton, born February 4, 1849; died 1940; married on January 7, 1868 Lucinda Payne, daughter of Joseph Payne and Henrietta (Smith) Payne.
6. Lewis Carlton, born January 15, 1851; died June 30, 1925; married on August 22, 1872 Mary Ann McEwen, daughter of Rev. William Penn McEwen and Rutha (Sheppard) McEwen.
7. James Carlton, born 1853; died 1940; married (1) Georgia C. Blount; (2) Lizzie ______.
8. Jeremiah Carlton, born December 9, 1854; died February 4, 1918; married on August 31, 1876 Eliza Jane Langford, daughter of Henry Langford and Jane (Whidden) Langford.
9. William Lacy Carlton, born February 18, 1859; died April 30, 1920; never married.
10. Charles Wilson Carlton, born November 18, 1860(?); died January 29, 1955; married on Dec. 15, 1885 Katherine Lillian McWilliams.
11. Stephen Isaac Carlton, born July 18, 1863; died Janury 21, 1918; married on March 22, 1887 Estelle Simmons.
12. Elam B. Carlton, born April 1864; died ca. 1908; married on June 7, 1887 Orlena Simmons, sister of Estelle Simmons.

References: "Captain Hooker's Narrative," The Peninsular, June 21, 1856; Albert and Park DeVane, DeVane’s Early Florida History, Volumes 1 and 2; pension application of Sallie Ann Murphy, National Archives; Crane to Woodbury, June 18, 1864; Charles B. Pendleton, "Fort Ogden and Josh Creek--The Baptist Association," Sunland Tribune, November 17, 1877; Joshua Creek Cemetery; miscel. censuses and marriage records.

This article is adapted from the author’s profiles in South Florida Pioneers 43/44 (Jan./Apr. 1985), The Herald-Advocate, October 3, 1985, and Lineage of John Carlton (1998).

See also:
Sallie Ann Carlton's Pension Application

January 17, 2001, March 6, 2002