Brooksville is a city in and the county seat of Hernando County, Florida, United States. As of the 2010 census it had a population of 7,719, up from 7,264 at the 2000 census. It is part of the Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater, Florida Metropolitan Statistical Area.
Brooksville was named in 1856 to honor Preston Brooks, a Democratic congressman from South Carolina. Brooks was an extreme advocate of chattel slavery. In 1856, Massachusetts senator and staunch abolitionist Charles Sumner gave an impassioned speech condemning slavery, in which he insulted Brooks' relative, Senator Andrew Butler. In response, Brooks attacked Sumner with a cane on the floor of Senate, severely injuring him; Brooks did not stop until physically restrained by others. This incident inflamed antebellum tensions throughout the country, emboldened secessionist movements throughout the American south and, eventually, contributed to the outbreak of the American Civil War. Brooksville is home to historic buildings and residences including the home of former Florida Governor William Sherman Jennings and football player Jerome Brown.
Brooksville is located in east-central Hernando County, 45 miles (72 km) north of Tampa and 51 miles (82 km) southwest of Ocala. The geographic center of Florida is 12 miles (19 km) north-northwest of Brooksville.
According to the United States Census Bureau, Brooksville has a total area of 10.9 square miles (28.3 km²), of which 10.8 square miles (28.1 km²) are land and 0.12 square miles (0.3 km²), or 0.90%, are water.
As of Census 2010, there were 7,719 people, 3,504 households, and 1,927 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,469.5 people per square mile (567.7/km²). There were 3,504 occupied housing units at an average density of 793.0 per square mile (306.4/km²).
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