Florencio Commyns, born circa 1796 in Pensacola, served as both Tax Collector and Sheriff of Escambia County beginning in 1830. He is believed to be the first elected sheriff (other records credit Ebenezer Dorr IV with that title), as well as the first native Pensacolian to serve in that position.
|Occupation||Escambia County Sheriff|
Commyns served as sheriff until 1837. Shortly thereafter, he was involved in an altercation in which he witnessed a man abusing one of his slaves. When the man refused to stop, Commyns shot him in the leg, took him to a hospital, and turned himself into the authorities. The man died the next day. Commyns was tried and acquitted by a jury on grounds of self-defense.
- Murder of Major Saunder Dinaho at Cantonment Clinch, resulting in the hanging of Sergeant Donica.
- 1831 fatal stabbing of a man by Jose Vidal after a series of drunken fights. Witnesses included Benjamin Drake Wright, John de la Rua and a young man named Jose Caro, none of which reported seeing a fatal thrust exchanged by the men. Three justices of the peace dismissed the case over insufficient evidence.
- 1835 murder of Theresa Whitaker by her husband Richard, who cut her throat and then tried to take his own life in the same way, according to the attending doctor, John Brosnaham.