Cooper and Pelot Families 

 
 

James Gignilliat Cooper was a landowner in North Florida where he owned three plantations. During the Second Seminole War from 1835 to 1842 he gained a commission of major general of volunteers. He later served on the Florida Secession Convention where he voted in favor of leaving the Union.

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Dr. John Crews Pelot 

Image: 1871-1881, Courtesy of Manatee County Public Library Historical Digital Collections

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John Cooper Pelot, James Cooper’s cousin, owned a plantation in Columbia County that adjoined one of Cooper’s. Pelot served in the Territorial Senate and later as the Chairman Pro Tem of the Secession Convention. He was the father of twenty children. One of his sons, John Crews Pelot, married a daughter of James G. and Pharaba J. Cooper, Mary Elizabeth Cooper. John Crews Pelot was a physician serving in the Confederate States Army as an assistant surgeon. First volunteering to serve in a Florida regiment, he was later assigned to Camp Sumter Military Prison, more widely known as Andersonville. Dr. John and Mary E. Pelot came to Manatee in 1865 along with Mary’s parents to escape the deplorable post-war conditions in North Florida.

Dr. Franklin Branch, the previous

local physician, had left the area

making Dr. Pelot a welcome addition. In

1867, they purchased the 1,147 acre

Braden Plantation for $2,000 ($34,860.95 in 2020). The Pelots made Braden Castle their home until 1879. In 1873, Mary died during childbirth. Later, Dr. Pelot remarried Katie Gates.

 

Today, Dr. Pelot’s descendants operate Pelot’s Drugstore on Manatee Avenue.

Braden Castle was gutted in a fire in 1903, leaving only the shell of the building. It is mostly a ruin today.

Image: 1900-1907, Courtesy of Manatee County Public Library Historical Digital Collections

Cooper, Pharaba Jane Vaughn - #6 Taken 03-2022 (2)
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Cooper, James Gignilliat - #7 Taken 03-2022 (2)
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Pelot, John Cooper - #8 Taken 03-2022 (4)
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Pelot, Julia Frances - #9 Taken 03-2022 (3)
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Pelot, Mary E Cooper - #10 Taken 03-2022  (4)
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Pelot, Catherine Gates - #11 Taken 03-2022 (4)
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Pelot, Josiah Crews - #12 Taken 03-2022 (2)
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Pelot, Mary Cooper - #13 Taken 03-2022
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Pelot, John Crews - #14 Taken 03-2022 (2)
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Left to Right (Top Row): 

Pharaba Jane Vaughn Cooper - Grave #6

James Gignilliat Cooper - Grave #7 

John Cooper Pelot - Grave #8 

Julia Frances Pelot - Grave #9 

Left to Right (Middle Row): 

Mary E Cooper Pelot - Grave #10 

Catherine Gates Pelot - Grave #11

Josiah Crews Pelot - Grave #12 

Mary Cooper Pelot - Grave #13  

Left to Right (Bottom Row) 

John Crews Pelot - Grave #14

All images taken by MVHP staff in 2022 unless otherwise noted.