Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
Grant Wilson, John Fiske and Stanley L. Klos. Six volumes, New York: D. Appleton
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DUVAL, William P., lawyer, born in Virginia in 1784; died in Washington, D. C., 19 March 1854. His great-grandfather was a French Huguenot, who settled in Virginia, his grandfather a member of the house of burgesses, and his father, Major William, an officer of the Revolution, who possessed a high reputation as a chancery lawyer, spent a large fortune in helping the poor, and enjoyed the friendship of Washington. The son removed to Kentucky when a boy, studied law there, and was admitted to the bar. He commanded a company of mounted volunteers against the Indians in 1812, and was elected to congress in that year, serving from 24 March 1813, to 2 March 1815. After his return to Kentucky he practiced law at Bardstown till 1822, when President Monroe appointed him governor of the territory of Florida. Presidents Adams and Jackson, serving till 1834, continued him in that office. He removed in 1848 to Texas, and died of a paralytic shock while visiting Washington. His life and character have been celebrated in fiction by James K. Paulding, who portrayed him in "Nimrod Wildfire," and by Washington Irving, who drew from him the character of "Ralph Ringwood.
"His brother, John Pope Duval, lawyer, born in Richmond, Virginia, 3 June 1790; died in Florida about 1855, was educated at Washington College and at William and Mary, studied law in Richmond, and was admitted to practice in 1811. He became 1st lieutenant in the 20th U. S. infantry, 9 April 1812, served on the Canadian frontier, and was promoted to captain in January 1814, serving in Virginia. After the close of the war he resigned his commission and entered on the practice of the law, but, not meeting with success, sold his property and emigrated to Florida, where his brother was governor, arriving in Tallahassee in June 1827. He obtained a good practice, but, owing to the unhealthful ness of the climate, removed in 1832 to Bardstown, Kentucky, where he remained till 1836, organizing volunteer forces during the war between Texas and Mexico, with the rank of brigadier general in the Texan service. He was on the point of departing for the scene of hostilities when the war ended with the capture of Santa Anna. He then returned to Florida as secretary of the territory, gained a high reputation there as a lawyer, and was commissioned by Governor Call to make a "Digest of the Laws of Florida" (1840). While acting as governor he secured the capture of a large body of Indians on the Apalachicola River. After the admission of Florida to the Union he was prominent as a Democratic politician, but was a firm unionist during the secessionist agitation of 1851'2.
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