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John T. Lesley
John T. Lesley.jpg
Lesley in the late 19th Century
12th Mayor of Tampa
In office
October 4, 1869 – March 1, 1869
Preceded by Josiah A. Ferris
Succeeded by John A. Henderson
Personal details
Born (1835-05-12)May 12, 1835
Madison County, Florida
Died July 13, 1913(1913-07-13) (aged 78)
Tampa, Florida
Resting place Oaklawn Cemetery
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Margaret Brown Tucker
Military service
Allegiance  United States of America
 Confederate States of America
Branch/service  United States Army
 Confederate States of America Army
Years of service 1855 (USA)
Rank Confederate States of America Captain.png Captain
Unit 4th Florida Infantry
1st. Special Cavalry Battalion

John Thomas Lesley (May 12, 1835 – July 13, 1913) was a cattleman and pioneer in Tampa, Florida. He fought in the Third Seminole War and was a captain in the Confederate Army during the Civil War. Lesley formed his own volunteer company the "Sunny South Guards", and commanded the "Cow Cavalry", until he was wounded and replaced by W. B. Henderson. After the war he became a state senator.

Prior to the Civil War he owned a few slaves.

Major William Iredell Turner (1812-1881) and Lesley (then a major) helped Confederate Secretary of State Judah P. Benjamin escape following the collapse of the Confederacy and hid Benjamin in a swamp behind Major Turner's House. He remained there for several days until they were sure the area was cleared of Federal soldiers. Benjamin was then transported to Gamble Mansion. Lesley was one of the original owners of the Tampa Street Railway.

His marriage to William T. Brown's daughter Margaret created what would become a powerful dynasty in business, politics and agriculture. Lesley's son William T. Lesley was Sheriff and a member of the Florida Constitutional Convention of 1885. Theodore Lesley, John T. Lesley's other son, was a county historian and preservationist.

Lesley is buried in downtown Tampa's Oaklawn Cemetery.

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