The Goulding Family Collection was donated by Professor Robert L. Goulding following his retirement from FSU in 1960. The collection includes documents from Goulding’s ancestors, including primary sources chronicling military and civilian life during the American Civil War, World War I and World War II.
The diaries of William R. Hackley included in this collection detail his life in Key West from 1830 to 1857, giving first-hand accounts of daily life in the recently-established American settlement. Many of the entries are concerned with predictable facets of island life – changes in the weather, and ships sailing in and out of port. However, as a lawyer and man of privilege, Hackley had access to information and events that the average Key West resident would not. Hackley provides eyewitness details of many court cases, including a first-hand look at an historical event in American Key West – the first known trial for murder.