Alex Lofton was a free Black man and a major property owner in Mandarin before the U.S. Civil War. What is known about him comes from census and land transfer records. Alex was born in Mandarin around 1824, the son of William Lofton, a white farmer, and an unnamed Black woman. When he was about 25, his father transferred 300 acres to him. At that time, land ownership by Mandarin’s Black residents was unusual as the majority were enslaved and were prohibited from owning property.

Alex’s grandaughter, May Lofton Kennedy, became the first Black Librarian at the Library of Congress in Washington, DC.

From the 1994 Black History Calendar, Jacksonville Public Library