1860 United States House of Representatives election in Florida

← 1858 October 1, 1860 1865 →
Nominee Robert Benjamin Hilton Benjamin F. Allen
Party Democratic Opposition
Popular vote 7,722 5,172
Percentage 59.89% 40.11%

Representative before election

George Sydney Hawkins

Elected Representative

Robert Benjamin


The 1860 United States House of Representatives election in Florida was held on Monday, October 1, 1860 to elect the single United States Representative from the state of Florida, one from the state's single at-large congressional district, to represent Florida in the 37th Congress. The election coincided with the elections of other offices, including the presidential election, gubernatorial election, and various state and local elections.

The winning candidate would serve a two-year term in the United States House of Representatives from March 4, 1861, to March 4, 1863.[1]

Hilton was never seated in Congress, however, as Florida had seceded from the Union before his term began.




Eliminated at party convention




By 1860, the secession of the South from the Union was nearly inevitable. Both Hilton and Allen were secessionists; the only question that remained was what ideology would an independent Florida prefer: the conservatism of the Democratic Party or the Whiggism of the Opposition Party. Due to Hilton's close ties with Vice President John C. Breckinridge, the Democratic nominee for president, it was all but guaranteed that he would ride on Breckinridge's coattails.[2]

Hilton soundly defeated Allen in the general election, receiving 60% of the vote to Allen's 40%.

General election


Florida's at-large congressional district election, 1860[8]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Democratic Robert Benjamin Hilton 7,722 59.89% -2.54%
Opposition Benjamin F. Allen 5,172 40.11% N/A
Majority 2,550 19.78% -5.08%
Turnout 12,894 100.00%
Democratic hold


Florida seceded from the Union on January 10, 1861, meaning Hilton was not able to take his seat in Congress. However, Hilton won election to the Confederate States House of Representatives later in 1861, representing Florida's 2nd congressional district.[9]

See also


  1. ^ a b "Our Campaigns - FL At Large Race - Oct 01, 1860". www.ourcampaigns.com. Retrieved 2020-11-08.
  2. ^ a b c d "Florida's U.S. Representative nomination 1860". The Florida Peninsular. 1860-06-23. p. 2. Retrieved 2020-11-08.
  3. ^ "Democratic nominations for governor and U.S. representative, 1860". The Florida Peninsular. 1860-06-30. p. 2. Retrieved 2020-11-08.
  4. ^ "Dilworth-Barnhill House - Monticello, FL". Old Georgia Homes. 2018-03-08. Retrieved 2020-11-08.
  5. ^ a b c The People of Lawmaking in Florida 1822 - 2019 (PDF). Tallahassee: Florida House of Representatives. 2019. Retrieved November 7, 2020.
  6. ^ "The Pope Family". The Madison Enterprise-Recorder. No. 38. Madison: Greene Publishing. May 22, 2009. p. 9. Retrieved November 7, 2020 – via University of Florida.
  7. ^ Membership of the Florida House of Representatives by County 1845-2020 (PDF). Tallahassee: Florida House of Representatives. 2020. p. 149. Retrieved November 7, 2020.
  8. ^ "FL At Large - 1860". Our Campaigns. Retrieved November 7, 2020.
  9. ^ McConville, Michael Paul (2012). "The Politics Of Slavery And Secession In Antebellum Florida, 1845-1861". University of Central Florida: 75. Retrieved November 7, 2020 – via STARS.