David Levy Yulee was a member of Florida's first constitutional convention in 1838-39; and in 1841, was elected as a territorial delegate to the Congress. When Florida became a state in 1845, he was chosen as its first U.S. Senator.
By 1851, Yulee's sugar mill had more than 150 slaves and used expensive machinery imported from New York. For 10 years, it was a time of peace and prosperity.
When the Civil War began in 1861, the mill served as a supplier of sugar products for Southern troops, and his mansion became a supply stockpile. In May 1864, a Union naval force burned his home. The mill escaped harm, but never reopened.