Early life and career
Broome was born in Hamburg, South Carolina and moved to Florida in 1837. He engaged in the mercantile business until he retired in 1841. In that same year, Governor Richard Keith Call appointed him to the position of Probate Judge of Leon County. He served in that position until 1848.
He was elected governor in 1852 as a Democrat, and took office on October 3, 1853. He was an early States'-Righter. During his term, the Whig Party, the opposition to the Democrats at the time, controlled the Florida State Legislature. He vetoed so many of the bills that were passed by the legislature that he became known as the "Veto Governor". After his gubernatorial stint ended on October 5, 1857, Broome served as a member of the Florida Senate in 1861. A large plantation owner, he was very sympathetic to the Confederate cause.
James E. Broome was married five times. In 1865, he moved to New York City. On a visit with his son in DeLand, Florida, Broome died in 1883.