Stephen Russell Mallory was born on the Island of Trinidad, West Indies in 1813. In 1820, he emigrated with his parents, Charles Mallory and Ellen Russell (1792-May 15, 1855), who settled in Key West, Monroe County, Florida (then a U.S. Territory). He was educated at Nazareth Hall Military Academy in Nazareth, Northampton County, Pennsylvania, and at the Jesuit College at Springhill, near Mobile, Alabama.

     Mallory was appointed by U.S. President Andrew Jackson (March 15, 1767-June 8, 1845) as the customs inspector at Key West in 1833, a position he worked while he studied law, and he was admitted to the bar in 1840. He then served as Judge of Monroe County from 1837 to 1845, and married Angela Sylvania Moreno (June 20, 1815-March 26, 1901) on July 19, 1838. During the Second Seminole War (1835-1842), he served as a volunteer soldier.

     He was elected to the U.S. Senate from Florida in 1851 and 1857. During this period, he actively served as Chairman of the Naval Affairs and Printing committees. After Florida's secession, he followed the fortunes of his home state, and resigned his seat on January 21, 1861.

     President Jefferson Davis (June 3, 1808-December 6, 1889) appointed him Secretary of the Navy, March 4, 1861. Mallory found himself with the difficult task of creating a navy out of nothing, and did so untiringly. Many have heard of the noble efforts of the commerce raiders C.S.S. Alabama, Florida, Shenandoah, and the ironclad Virginia, to name a few. He also organized the Confederate Torpedo Bureau which built torpedoes, floating mines, and the "legendary" torpedo boat H.L. Hunley.

     After the fall of Richmond, he accompanied Davis and the remaining Cabinet members in their flight. The group disbanded in Washington, Wilkes County, Georgia on May 5, 1865, and Mallory went to La Grange, Troup County, Georgia, where his family was residing. He was arrested there on May 20, 1865, and kept a prisoner for ten months at Fort Lafayette, on a small island in New York Harbor. Following his release, he moved to Pensacola, Escambia County, Florida, where he practiced law until his death, November 9, 1873. Mallory is buried in St. Michael's Cemetery in Pensacola.

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