Reid, Robert Raymond. Letter to John Forsythe. Jacksonville. December 3, 1835. Includes transcription

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Title:
Reid, Robert Raymond. Letter to John Forsythe. Jacksonville. December 3, 1835. Includes transcription
Physical Description:
Mixed Material
Creator:
Reid, Robert Raymond (1789-1849)
Publication Date:

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords:
Territorial Florida, 1821-1845
Seminole War, 2nd, 1835-1842
Genre:
Spatial Coverage:
North America -- United States -- Florida -- Alachua

Record Information

Rights Management:
All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
System ID:
AA00021300:00001

Full Text







Jacksonville, 3rd Dec. 1835


My Dear Sir,

I reached this place last night, on my return from a Superior
Court held for the three counties of Alachua, Columbia & Hillsborough.
The Court had been in session for more than a week, and had adjourned
from Saturday to Monday morning, when on Sunday an express reached
Newnansville, informing us of the death of Charles Omathla the
friendly Indian Chief. He fell into an ambuscade of his countrymen,
when returning on the night of Friday the 29th ult. from Camp
King, whither he had been with his daughter and a few followers,
to present a list of property intended to be sold at the time
appointed for the Indian Sales, which was yesterday. The unfortunate
man was covered with wounds and expired immediately his Horse
was killed, as was the Horse on which his Daughter was riding.
This information created much agitation among the Inhabitants
attending at Newnansville, the families of many of whom were living
,in the neighborhood of the Indian Boundary the more so as the
Agent had issued a notice, stating the fact of Omathlas death and
advising the settlers to prepare for their defense .... ,
others were immediately discharged and on Mdnday, soon
after the Court met -another express arrived, with news of
the murder of a White man (Stafford) by the Indians, which has
since turned out to be untrue. It seems, however, that on
-Saturday night, soon after the setting of the moon, a party of
Indians approached Stafford House about forty miles from
Newnansville & near the Indian Boundary and were attacked by
the dogs Stafford stepped to the door to encourage the dogs,
was fired upon by the Indians. He then, provided for the escape
of his family entrusting his wife to go with her three children -
,one 5 year old another younger and a third at the breast to
the nearest house- W. Priests' ten miles off promising to
join her as soon as possible and exposed himself, to attract
attention, at one door, while his family departed through the
other. The report which we received came from Mrs. Stafford -
the poor woman counted seven guns then an interval & then
a single gun; she made her way through a cold night, with one
child in her arms, another on her back and the third following,
to Priests' where she arrived safely with her little ones, but
much exhausted poorly clad & suffering from cold. She had
taken with her also, a little negro child, which she was obliged
to leave by the way. But Stafford was more fortunate than there
was reason to believe he would be he managed to make his
escape, and arriving at Wetumpka, where Capt. Graham & a few men.











are stationed, he obtained five men, with them he returned to
his little plantation which he found entirely laid waste he
then hastened to rejoin his family & had the good luck to find
on his way & to save the little negro child, that his wife had
-y ben obliged to desert the night before'. I give you the facts
therehee are many flying .reports of which I say nothing) which
ma ...be /relied upon, & the report of which reached us before I left
the/neighborhood of Newnansville the day before yesterday. On
my way here, I found the country in a state of excitement and a
alarm houses and property have been abandoned, and women and
children are flying from the threateneddanger.


It is believed, & there appears to be good reason for the
belief, that the Indians do not intend to comply with their
promises & leave the country and it is strongly rumoured, that
they are collecting in various directions with a determination
to resist, it is even said that those of them who have been
receiving rations, have raided the war whoop within the very
lines of Camp King.


The general impression is that the U. S. Army present in
the Territory is not sufficiently improving in numbers or
discipline to effect. the removal of the Indians, or to put them
down if they go to war; and the country- is so sparsely settled,
that the Inhabitants can be relied on to only a limited extent.
But--what is worse than all, our militia is without organization,
and without arms. Among many guns in the hands of the men of
Alachua I have seen but two that seemed to me really fit for
service; it is supposed the Indians are better provided with arms
,and ammunition than we are. In St. Augustine the inhabitants are
without arms.


It is said, a proposition has been made, to bring mounted
men from the militia into the service. I wish this matter had
been thought of months ago for, before an organization of such
troops can now be accomplished the Indians if they choose may
do much mischief.


It is probable that Gen. Hernandez who is now in command
as Brigadier General of East Florida, will endeavor to collect
a force immediately, and it is certain that the Inhabitants near
the boundary will gather and do the best they can for their common
defense. ________ _________ but I repeat the country
wants arms which are the more effective at this crisis, because,


-2-











while we guard ourselves as against a savage foe, we should be
prepared for an evil not entirely out of the list of
contingencies yet nearer home.


I have no time to copy this long letter, and beg you to
believe me. Very respectfully & Sincerely my _____

Your Friend
Robt. Raymond Reid



Hon. J. Forsyth


The Court is to be held here on Monday next but if the
agitation and alarm continues the session will be short.


I have just heard that Gen. Clinch slept last night on the
other side of the St. Johns, opposite this place he comes
through this way for the purpose of collecting volunteers or
providing in some other mode for the protection of the country.
There is a report that the country around the Waccassa Bay is
in flames but of course such reports must be received with
grains of allowances.


10 o'clock a.m. I have just seen and conversed with the
General. He is calling for volunteers from Duval, Alachua,
Nassau, Columbia, Hillsborough his call will be promptly met
I have no doubt he wants 100 or 200 mounted men the number
can be procured but there will be some difficulty about arms
and horses. A company of rangers has volunteered from St.
Augustine, but that have no arms. The General says he made
requisitions on Gen. ____________ long since for 150.muskets
but they have not been received
over for transportation. The General leaves this place for
Camp immediately.'


and there are many flying reports of which I say nothing.

()


-3-

















. .h'l'i fo th-' t h rvi, I. i o3 oIA-^ !- c!-.V . i l:--;"*, h *'

2C o ', !{ i' -, ,n in ",;' "; i on fo nv ...' vh :, ... v-..",.1^ .,.. :; ,', ." "-,. .', -
....: [; tu r. ',] iy 4, :t o I .''o n "ty .,. -, sj 'o n i ,n :, ,, h i r; .... ,.. ,.! .." *' .'" , ...- ,' Y', '. ... r ... .. "' 1 ... ,* :-
0U

1' : e, ii'fo rr.ii u of tti ,.i,. h or e crl 0;;.- -. .. .' .: :
Cht -, "Ie fell into ,-n. ':rulh;'u -".. of Li. r;,i;aL r :, "., w .'.. '. -, '
". "" "8 of 17 di' b, 29th ult f'ro ; C' ,. ,'. .
i . 1.. O f 2* " .: ].
14. o.
. L. In i r 2n. a f.,w fo' .u r: to ". 1 .t: of *ro':" ',"
in! '..> to oe cold at t ,, ti;,i, r.. no :,i;' for f: f .., 1. .,
v e "!** c': d > ^ ... 7 ^. ;-3 H o '.L ?c1 ., :, ....." d 1 W G t e.' -- o "*' .'c :<':. *. h ?'-
T h. r' fo."';; 2.:'.t or "oi r . .- -.


...... ..4... t . ,f ; o. ... '-: ..o
IL' I th, ne' rl.o d oT Of tl T- I dLI.. Bc C:n ) i :.ry .' ;"-'e .. t
In .

.'.d L. :7'.- i a. niotice, :t.'t-." i tho frct of ""thIrz .... -.;' ,: :.... .
Li' the .,ttl-rn to pr:p:re for thnir dofeaco, ____ ___. ..-. -...- ...t
.... I o I .-- :1, ,:,o o" '.ftL t:1 C.--:-j.rt r.. :-. ,a t ,-, -. .. r- ..
S ',., wxit'. news od of h- r.;" of a h.,ite *:,:L (St ford) -' f ;.- .. -.
-, oh he; -.inzo tnr'oJ out to ,- untrue, It soem, h t o
/ ,"1 t,:,'.: -; night, noon after the ct .tin. of til 'ou', -' i2 -
a/ naFro.nchod:n Stafford Iouo- bon,. fort -.!es f (': I1'-."" .'.r


t t,., ptDrovid--i for the c rpep o :.o f". .. -t..L"-'-; : f -v
g So with hor three' chi...rer.- o .-^ 5 roe..'r old another ':,- .;. ,.
tdlird aL th. broat to the ri.'-.ri't ho- ;:- .' Pr -;ts -n mi-f--
off '- iromfi _ing, to joi, hr r U-- .o,. -" -o )'- :--ibl c .i ..--i.:-",. ; ..-
to Latrct attor.ton, at oneC.r door, .'." % f ..
n t.Ao other. The. re'or '' w ich we r,.-.iv" C.;..-: fr '' !r .
.. th'- o omue o C'r^..otd r-.o-c gun. tuin' n r..:: v' 1 : .t-0.
Su .In; }^ e m'd a f h' or wa .y t Jhrci :.'. ld .j-, . o.' ci'f1 o' : r r...
n.roth-er on her b.c- ., a".id t third follow,'i.; to Pr,-t' : 'h .-.- r
arrived safely, with ":,"' little oer':sz but r,."'c ':... -.ur -- r 0"-'--
cl] d :.. : fferr... fro" cond c)--v i....... t.. ,,nI t ,Lcn. ',-,d- ; I
-' .- ., .' i~ r ch ld ,-ch -"h .a~ bl j^ t, l. -'" hy t'.' .."y I?".i ^ .. .
g'.a.. .nore f rtunate th.1'' there wan re..,on t (o k 1f.:1 1.'. I - I.-
.-11, u t t ",1,li,,,II t





ma .n ..n.,.t,.I. to rnkrP, his ,-,...r' e ap d "rriv .In at ^' -.....k- w. .. ... .....
"f~ lip~' c 2~ . ..' .' 1 0 0 ~ r "' ,..' '' ~"'. ..2 l
o a fw men are sttinired, Ie obtained five rrre, with t.er..' re. 'rra4.i t.04
hi little .. .arntation w,,hich ]he fo.n& cr. .'-'ly" 1_a .i ..;'.- }'. ., h',.o
.a rejoin hi.s f -y h'. ,h;.. ..I Incr o fi ,- on :: way -. ....
to. T'"atot''' 'r'






: litt,'le ne. ro chil th..i.. '.... wife -". r'bli to r ."
.;, *before. I. .v ye" th.' f f.ts th.1cr. ". . 1:' ri' f- ] -... rey.o'i" e : /hf
I ..n.r nothing) whvi-ch may be replied z '.'.n, ?.: t!. reFcrt of ".'.<.':h ..re-ched
us before I left the .r.-i.hborhood of U'o,.'--cn.:;vri.'lle the ,"n: >12.-.' --
0L I Ve re 11 e 7, r








I ..,rd t.or.. ... O:ra III ,,.. te I found t .' c. ,;.tr_ in a nt.'c o "N'. : "' r.:"1 "
-na..rm i lo'.r -s .nd n 'o,- ..t... h'" ve bo1.n "'" on "o '- 5 .-
S ."re .f"'y-i from tmh .. -

It i. beli.rl v e,- and t",r'4 e i. np f'''o. c to t' 'oi ro- .- for -" '',
.... .. t ..t the n i an d ot n to 4-"-.1. e .. t L..":' n.7 .
.... . .... . cr."ttry end it is < ; ';or ly '. ', n',, '" -. t l''ft. t-e. ... r. 1 '-1 . -
r -.t t o. c .d of I e: h 'vr ; rA- ; '
....r-, n'. i









J whoop t ithin t.. c :. ' i 1 -1 ofn "-2 r
not,,n c,.. y ,1 .. a y b t -- -
vi s b e r)r eI I f t 'I& r1 -6 c, h n o ] oo o v
M '4r




J
6



The general impression is that the U. S. Army presentin the
territory is not sufficiently ______ in numbers or discipline
to effectthe removal of the Indians, or to put them down if they
go to war; and the country is so sparsely settled, that the
Inhabitants can be relied on to only a limited extent. But--what
is worse than all, our militia is without organization, and without
arms, Among many guns in the hands of the men of Alachua have
seen but two that seemed to me really fit for service; it is
supposed the Indians are better provided fa with arms and ammunition
than we are. In St. Augustine the inhabitants are without arms.

It is said, a proposition has been made, to bring mounted men
from the militia into the service. I wish this matter had been
thought of months agox for, before an organization of such troops
can now be accomplished the Indians if they choose may do much
miscchief.

It is probablethat Gen. Hernandez who is a __ in command as
Brigadier General of East Florida, will endeavor to collect a force
immediately, and itis certain tht the inhabitants near the boundary
will gather and do the best they can for their common defense.
___ _____ but I repeat the country wants arms which are the
more effective at this crisis, because, while we guard ourselves
as against a savage foe, we should be prepared for an evil not
entirely out of the list of contingencies yet nearer home.

I haveno time to copy this long letter, and beg you to ____
me. Very respectfully & Sincerely my ____
Your Friend
Robt. Raymond Reid
Hon. J. Forsyth


The court is to be held here nn Monday next but if the agitation
and alarm continues the session will be 1hort.
I have just heard that Gen. Clinch Ix slept last night on the
other side of the St. Johns, opposite thisplace he is on his way
to Camp King from St. Augustine & the report is he comes through this
way forthe purpose of collecting volunteers or providing in some
other mode for theprotection of the country. There is a report
that the country around the Waccassa Bay is in flames but of
course such reports must be received with grains ofallowances.

10 o'clock a.m. I have just seen and conversed with the General.
He is calling for volunteers from Duval, Alachua, Nassau, Columbia,
Hillsborough his call will be promptly met I have no doubt he


wants 100 or 200 mounted men the number can be procured but there
will be some difficulty about arms and horses. A company of rangers
has volunteered from St. Augustine, but that have no arms. The
General says he made requisitions on Gen. _____ long since for
150 muskets but they havenot been received, ____ ____ over for
transportation. The General leaves this placefor Camp immediately..


and there are many flying reports of which I say nothing.





Jacksonville,


My Dear Sir,

I reached this place last night, on my return from Superior Court
held for the three counties of Alachua, Columbia & Hillsborough. The
Court had been in session for more than a week, and had adjourned from
Saturday to Monday morning, when on Sunday an express reached Newnans-
ville, informing us of the death of Charles Omathla the friendly Indian
Chief. He fell into an ambuscade of his countrymen, when returning on
the night of Friday the 29th ult. from Camp King,whither he had been
with his daughter and a few followers, to present a list of property
intended to be sold at the time appointed for the Indian Sales, which
was yesterday. The unfortunate man was covered with wounds and expired
immediately his Horse was killed, as was the Horse on which his Daughter
was riding. This information created much agitation among the Inhabi-
tants attending at Newnansville, the families of many of whom were living
in the neighborhood of the Indian Boundary the more so as the Agent
had issued a notice, stating the fact of Omathlas death and advising
the settlers to prepare for their defence. ____ & were immediately
discharged and on Monday soon after the Court met another express arri-
ved, with news of the murder of a white man (Stafford) by the Indians,
which has since turned out to be untrue. It seems, however, that on
Saturday night, soon after the setting of the moon, a party of Indians
approached Stafford House about forty miles from Newnansville & near
the Indian Boundary and were attacked by the dogs Stafford stepped
to the door to encourage the dogs, was fired upon by the Indians. He
then, provided for the escape of his family entrusting his wife to
go with her three children one 5 year old another younger and a
third at the breast to the nearest house W. Priests' ten miles
off promising to join her as soon as possible and exposed himself,
to attract attention, at one door, while his family departed through
the other. The report which we received came from Mrs. Stafford -
the poor woman counted seven guns then an interval & then a single
gun; she made her way through a cold night, with one child in her arms,
another on her back and the third following, to Priests' where she
arrived safely with her little ones, but much exhausted poorly
clad & suffering from cold. She had taken with her also, a little
negro child, which she was obliged to leave by the way. But Stafford
was more fortunate than there was reason to believe he would be he
managed to make his escape, and arriving at Wetumpka, where Capt. Graham
& a few men are stationed, he obtained five men, with them he returned to
his little plantation which he found entirely laid waste he then hastened
to rejoin his family & had the good luck to find on his way & to save the
little negro child, that his wife had been obliged to desert the night
before. I give you the facts there are many flying reports of which
I say nothing) which may be relied upon, & the report of which reached
us before I left the neighborhood of Newnansville the day before yes-
terday. On my way here, I found the country in a state of excitement and a
alarm houses and property have been abandoned, and women and children
are flying from the ______ danger.

It is believed,& and there appears to be good reason for the belief,
that the Indians do not intend to comply with their promises & leave
the country and it is strongly rumoured, that they are collecting in
various directions with a determination to resist, it is even said


that those of them who have been receiving rations, have raided the war
whoop within the very lines of Camp King.


3rd Dec. 1835










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