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David Levy Yulee


David Levy Yulee was a prominent U.S. statesman and businessman from the 19th century.  He is an important figure for serving as the first U.S. Senator of Jewish heritage[1]. He is also nicknamed the "Father of Florida Railroads," as he organized and led The Florida Railroad Company[2]. Levy Yulee is also credited with being an instrumental actor in attaining statehood for Florida[1]. Furthermore, he played a pivotal role in the South's secession from the Union during the Civil War as he was an unwavering supporter of John C. Calhoun and a major advocate for states' rights[1]. Yulee's political and business career is made all the more impressive by the fact that he was Jewish in a time featuring rarely any prominent American Jews. Yulee became a symbol of prosperity and success, even amidst hatred and anti-Semitism.