Title Page
 Bicentennial commission of...
 Title Page
 List of Illustrations
 Table of Contents
 Part I: Early history and...
 Part II: The remnant in Florid...
 Osceola Nikkanoochee - The treaty...
 Index to the introduction

Title: Red patriots: the sotry of the Seminoles
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/AM00000165/00001
 Material Information
Title: Red patriots: the sotry of the Seminoles
Physical Description: Book
Creator: Coe, Charles H.
Publisher: University Presses of Florida
Publication Date: 1898
Subject: Seminole Indians
Abstract: Facsimile reproduction of the 1898 edition with an introduction by Charlton W. Tebeau.
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: AM00000165
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: Florida A&M University (FAMU)
Holding Location: Florida A&M University (FAMU)
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: notis - AAB7839
 Related Items
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PALMM Version

Table of Contents
    Title Page
        Page i
        Page ii
    Bicentennial commission of Florida
        Page iii
        Page iv
        Page v
        Page vi
        Page vii
        Page viii
        Page ix
        Page x
        Page xi
        Page xii
        Page xiii
        Page xiv
        Page xv
        Page xvi
        Page xvii
        Page xviii
        Page xix
        Page xx
        Page xxi
        Page xxii
        Page xxiii
        Page xxiv
        Page xxv
        Page xxvi
        Page xxvii
        Page xxviii
        Page xxix
        Page xxx
        Page xxxi
        Page xxxii
        Page xxxiii
        Page xxxiv
        Page xxxv
        Page xxxvi
        Page xxxvii
        Page xxxviii
        Page xxxix
        Page xl
        Page xli
        Page xlii
        Page xliii
        Unnumbered ( 44 )
    Title Page
        Title 1
        Title 2
    List of Illustrations
        List, Illustrations
    Table of Contents
        Page i
        Page ii
        Page iii
        Page iv
        Page v
        Page vi
        Page vii
        Page viii
        Page 1
        Page 2
        Page 3
    Part I: Early history and character
        Page 4
        Chapter I: Origin and early history of the Seminoles - Testimony regarding their numbers, character and condition
            Page 5
            Page 6
            Page 7
            Page 8
            Page 9
        Chapter II: The first hostilities and their origin - The maroons and fugitive slaves - Invasions of Spanish territory - Massacre by our forces - Protest of the Spanish governor - General Jackson's barbarous "example" - Destruction of the Indian settlements - Congressional investigation - Cession of Florida - Indians appeal to the president - A party of Seminoles visit the Bahamas
            Page 10
            Page 11
            Page 12
            Page 13
            Page 14
            Page 15
            Page 16
            Page 17
            Page 18
            Page 19
            Page 20
            Page 21
            Page 22
            Page 23
        Chapter III: Neamathla, principal chief of the nation - Other distinguished chiefs - John Hicks and Mickenopah, successors to Neamathla - Osceola and his associate chiefs - Early life and personal appearance of Osceola - His peaceable character - Cession of Florida to the United States - Events leading to the Seminole War - Acts of injustice - Proof that the Seminoles were peaceable
            Page 24
            Page 25
            Page 26
            Page 27
            Page 28
            Page 29
            Page 30
            Page 31
            Page 32
            Page 33
            Page 34
            Page 35
            Page 36
            Page 37
        Chapter IV: Treaty of Camp Moultrie - Incursions of cattle-thieves and slave-hunters - Treaty of Payne's Landing - Presence of Osceola - Abraham, the maroon - Our government's reprehensible course - Seminole Nation refuses to ratify the treaty - Osceola speaks for the nation - General Gadsden's valuable opinion
            Page 38
            Page 39
            Page 40
            Page 41
            Page 42
            Page 43
            Page 44
            Page 45
            Page 46
            Page 47
            Page 48
            Page 49
        Chapter V: Another meeting with the chiefs - Osceola "signs" a paper - The chief placed in irons - The agent's opinion of Osceola - Again imprisoned - Osceola gives the war-cry - Seminole's right to their homes - First victim of the nation's decree - Osceola is appointed head war-chief - Commencement of the Seven Year's War
            Page 50
            Page 51
            Page 52
            Page 53
            Page 54
            Page 55
            Page 56
            Page 57
            Page 58
        Chapter VI: Dade's massacre - General Gaines' raises volunteers - Editorial comment on the battle - Osceola's influence - Battle of the Withlacoochee - Osceola makes a prediction - Indians spare their friends - Osceola's humane policy regarding the women and children - Treatment of their captives - Opinions of the Florida press
            Page 59
            Page 60
            Page 61
            Page 62
            Page 63
            Page 64
            Page 65
            Page 66
            Page 67
            Page 68
            Page 69
        Chapter VII: Our troops at bay - Indians suffer a great defeat - Strength of the army - General Jesup's "gallant" achievement - Cessation of hostilities - A peace treaty - Announcement of the end of the war - Florida objects - General Jesup's mistake - Seisure of maroons - General Gaines defends the Seminoles' right to the maroons
            Page 70
            Page 71
            Page 72
            Page 73
            Page 74
            Page 75
            Page 76
            Page 77
            Page 78
            Page 79
        Chapter VIII: Capture of King Philip - Seizure and imprisonment of Osceola - The whole transaction stripped of its disguises -Ppublic opinion - General Jesup's defense - Escape of Wildcat
            Page 80
            Page 81
            Page 82
            Page 83
            Page 84
            Page 85
            Page 86
            Page 87
            Page 88
            Page 89
            Page 90
            Page 91
            Page 92
        Chapter IX: A new project - John Ross - Meditation of the Cherokees - Seizure of Mickenopah and others by General Jesup - Eloquent appeal of John Ross - General Jesup's defense
            Page 93
            Page 94
            Page 95
            Page 96
            Page 97
            Page 98
            Page 99
            Page 100
            Page 101
        Chapter X: Transfer of Osceola and the others to Fort Moultrie - Visitors flock to see the famous chief - Osceola and other chiefs visit the theatre - Descriptive poem - suicide of an Indian - George Catlin paints the chief's portraits - Personal appearance of Osceola in confinement
            Page 102
            Page 103
            Page 104
            Page 105
            Page 106
            Page 107
            Page 108
        Chapter XI: Sickness and death of Osceola - The chief's request - Physician's account of his dying moments - Funeral ceremonies - An infamous act - Comments of the press and others upon Osceola's death - Eulogy by Storrow - Street's graphic poem
            Page 109
            Page 110
            Page 111
            Page 112
            Page 113
            Page 114
            Page 115
            Page 116
            Page 117
            Page 118
        Chapter XII: Transfer of the prisoners to the west - Death of King Philip en route - The Seminole Nation resolves on having revenge - Descriptions of Lake Okeechobee, the Everglades, and the Big Cypress Swamp - Battle of Okeechobee - Naval attack near Jupiter inlet - General Jesup marches south
            Page 119
            Page 120
            Page 121
            Page 122
            Page 123
            Page 124
            Page 125
            Page 126
            Page 127
            Page 128
        Chapter XIII: General Jesup again negotiates for peace - Recommends allowing the Seminoles to remain in the country - Reply of the secretary of war - Editorial opposition - Seminoles suspect treachery - Seizure of seven hundred Indians and maroons - Officers present describe the "grab" - Sight restored to a blind Seminole woman
            Page 129
            Page 130
            Page 131
            Page 132
            Page 133
            Page 134
            Page 135
            Page 136
            Page 137
            Page 138
            Page 139
        Chapter XIV: General Jesup retires from command of the army - An improved policy under General Taylor - Over a year of peace - Jesup volunteers advice - The Macomb "treaty" - End of the war announced - Double dealing apparent - Florida press and people condemn the deception
            Page 140
            Page 141
            Page 142
            Page 143
            Page 144
            Page 145
            Page 146
            Page 147
            Page 148
            Page 149
        Chapter XV: Seminoles' discover the deception - Renewal of hostilities - Fake stories of Indian massacres - Chakika leads an attack - Official views - The Indian always wrong - False alarms - White guerillas - General Taylor retires - Failure of another effort - Indian Key massacre - Hunting Indians with bloodhounds - General Worth succeeds Armistead - Final termination of the Seminole War - A remnant allowed to remain - Number transferred to the west - Cost of the war - Settlers rush to the territory
            Page 150
            Page 151
            Page 152
            Page 153
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            Page 160
            Page 161
            Page 162
            Page 163
        Chapter XVI: Trials of the emigrants - Seminoles in Mexico - Testimony of the Mexican government - Death of Wildcat on Mexican soil - Mexican band returns to the United States - Nation appeals to the President - Settle on lands of their own - Desire for schools - Their uncomplaining character - Manly appeal of their agent
            Page 164
            Page 165
            Page 166
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            Page 168
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            Page 171
            Page 172
            Page 173
            Page 174
            Page 175
            Page 176
        Chapter XVII: The Seminole in the Civil War - Borne upon the payrolls of both armies - Driven from their homes by Confederates - Enlist in the Union army - Engaged in twenty-eight battles - Serve throughout the war - Bitter feeling between the two factions - Union Seminoles reimbursed for losses - Odd appearance in regulation uniforms
            Page 177
            Page 178
            Page 179
            Page 180
            Page 181
            Page 182
        Chapter XVIII: Treaty of 1866 - Government's serious blunder - General Grant's new Indian policy - Present condition in the west - Goverment of the tribe - Governor John F. Brown - Seminoles free from intruders - Efforts of the Dawes commission - Seminoles and the commission sign a new agreement - Seminoles first to embrace citizenship
            Page 183
            Page 184
            Page 185
            Page 186
            Page 187
            Page 188
            Page 189
            Page 190
    Part II: The remnant in Florida
        Page 190a
        Chapter I: General Worth's tribute - Murder of three whites - Excitement and alarm of the settlers - Capt. John C. Casey, the Seminoles' friend - General Gibbon's testimony regarding Indian agents - Tribute to Captain Casey - The Bowlegs' peace token - Captain Casey meets the Indians - Nation disavows the murders - Delivery of the criminals - General Twiggs' high tribute - Suicide of prisoners
            Page 191
            Page 192
            Page 193
            Page 194
            Page 195
            Page 196
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            Page 199
            Page 200
            Page 201
            Page 202
        Chapter II: Withdrawal of troops - Action of the Florida legislature - The Blake scheme - Suicide of an Indian woman - Billy Bowlegs visits Washington and other cities - Blake secures the removal of Captain Casey - Failure of the Blake scheme - Cost to the people - Captain Casey reinstated
            Page 203
            Page 204
            Page 205
            Page 206
            Page 207
            Page 208
            Page 209
        Chapter III: Two years of quiet - Troops explore southern Florida - First steamboat navigation of Lake Okeechobee - General hostilities resumed after thirteen years of peace - Causes of the outbreak - Opinions of Western Seminoles, Jefferson Davis and the Indian commissioner - Last regular battle and hostilities - Final emigration, under Billy Bowlegs - A remnant remains in the swamps - Parting scenes - Tribute of an army officer
            Page 210
            Page 211
            Page 212
            Page 213
            Page 214
            Page 215
            Page 216
            Page 217
            Page 218
            Page 219
            Page 220
            Page 221
        Chapter IV: The flower of the Nation - Seminoles recognized in the state constitution - First attempt to instruct them - Indian commissioner advises the purchase of lands - Report of the bureau of ethnology - Character and superiority - Congress appropriates $6,000 for homesteads - Failure of the government agents - Efforts of the government cease - Congress continues to make appropriations
            Page 222
            Page 223
            Page 224
            Page 225
            Page 226
            Page 227
        Chapter V: Pioneer work of the Women's National Indian Association - Mrs. Quinton visits the "Big Cypress" Indians - Purchase of the land - Mission and government station established - Donation of land by the Florida legislature - Mission and government work - Visits of the Indians
            Page 228
            Page 229
            Page 230
            Page 231
            Page 232
            Page 233
            Page 234
            Page 235
            Page 236
            Page 237
        Chapter VI: Present location and numbers - Osceola's namesakes - "Negro slaves" - Tribal government - Superiority of the Florida Seminoles - Types of the Native American - Domestic life - Common attire - Dwellings - Agricultral products - Successful hunters - Source of revenue - Annual festival
            Page 238
            Page 239
            Page 240
            Page 241
            Page 242
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            Page 244
            Page 245
            Page 246
            Page 247
            Page 248
        Chapter VII: Seminoles robbed of their homes - Purchase of lands - Hon. F. A. Hendy's bill - Indians shun the station - The Long Key proposition - Attack on Dr. Brecht - Commissioner Jones' recommendation - Agent is called to Washington - Inspector Duncan visits the Seminoles - His glowing tribute - Recommends a reservation - Must be decided by congress - The cruelty of any attempt to remove the Indians - The author appeals to every lover of justice
            Page 249
            Page 250
            Page 251
            Page 252
            Page 253
            Page 254
            Page 255
            Page 256
            Page 257
            Page 258
    Osceola Nikkanoochee - The treaty of Tallahassee - Treaty of Pope's - List of battles and other engagements occuring in Florida during the Seminole War - Forts and posts established in Florida
        Page 259
        Page 260
        Page 261
        Page 262
        Page 263
        Page 264
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        Page 285
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        Page 287
        Page 288
        Page 289
        Page 290
    Index to the introduction
        Page 1
        Page 2
        Page 3
        Page 4
        Page 5
Full Text




of the 1898 EDITION



Library of Congress Cataloging in Publication Data

Coe, Charles H
Red patriots.

(Bicentennial Floridiana facsimile series)
Reprint of the ed. published by The Editor Pub. Co., Cincinnati.
Bibliography: p.
1. Seminole Indians. I. Tebeau, Charlton W. II. Title.
III. Series.
E99.S28C6 1898a 970.3 73-5702
ISBN 0-8130-0401-2

published under the sponsorship of the
SAMUEL PROCTOR, General Editor.

of the 1898 EDITION



Governor Reubin O'D. Askew, Honorary Chairman
Lieutenant Governor Tom Adams, Chairman
Pat Dodson, Vice Chairman
Shelton Kemp, Executive Director

George I. Baumgartner, North Miami Beach
Floyd T. Christian, Tallahassee
Johnnie Ruth Clarke, St. Petersburg
A. H. Craig, St. Augustine
Henry Dartigalongue, Jacksonville
Jack D. Gordon, Miami Beach
Warren S. Henderson, Sarasota
Richard S. Hodes, Tampa
Joe Lang Kershaw, Miami
Ney C. Landrum, Tallahassee
Mrs. E. D. Pearce, Miami
Charles E. Perry, Miami
W. E. Potter, Orlando
Samuel Proctor, Gainesville
Ted Randell, Fort Myers
F. Blair Reeves, Gainesville
Bob Saunders, Gainesville
George E. Saunders, Winter Park
Don Shoemaker, Miami
Harold W. Stayman, Tampa
Richard Stone, Tallahassee
Alan Trask, Fort Meade
W. Robert Williams, Tallahassee
Lori Wilson, Merritt Island
Sherman S. Winn, Bal Harbour


"Red Patriots" was the way Charles Henry Coe described
Florida's Seminole Indians in his book by that title published
in 1898. Their attachment to their land, their resistance to
being uprooted from their homes, and their willingness to
fight and to die if necessary to remain in Florida was "pa-
triotism of the highest order." AlthoughRed Patriots was pub-
lished many years before the approaching Bicentennial, it
emphasizes both the cause and the purpose of the American
Revolution: the attachment of Americans of every race, color,
and creed to this country and their determination to fight
and indeed to die for its independence.
Our nation was forged from an extraordinary diversity
of people, cultures, and traditions. Among others, the Indians,
our first Americans, have made many contributions from
their own rich traditions and past to the greatness of the
country. Red Patriots describes the role that Seminoles have
played in the history of Florida. Coe's concern for the
Seminoles who remained in the state at the end of the
nineteenth century, when he wrote Red Patriots, led him
to review their entire history from the time they first migrated
into Florida in the 1730s. By describing the life of the
Seminoles, Coe made a considerable contribution to Florida
history since so little was known of their life style in the
post-Civil War period. Like Helen Hunt Jackson inA Century
of Dishonor, Mr. Coe attempted to prick the conscience of
the nation in Red Patriots. He wanted the people of Florida
to redeem their honor by recognizing the legal and property
rights of the Seminoles.
Charlton Tebeau, professor emeritus of the University
of Miami, in his introduction to Red Patriots, declares that

vi Preface.
Coe makes a better case for the Seminoles than any writer
before or since. As Dr. Tebeau points out, while the major
emphasis of this book is on the Second Seminole War, their
whole story serves as a background for Coe's fervent plea
in behalf of the Indians. Detail about their way of life, their
activities, and their needs were set forth in Red Patriots.
Charlton Tebeau, a native of Georgia, was for many years
chairman of the history department at the University of
Miami. A graduate of the University of Iowa, he is a recog-
nized authority on Florida history, and was selected by
Esquire Magazine as one of the nation's "Super-Profs." He
is editor of Tequesta, the journal published by the Historical
Association of Southern Florida, and the author of many books
on Florida, including Florida's Last Frontier, Man and the
Everglades, Chokoloskee Bay Country, and, with Ruby Leach
Carson, Florida from Indian Trail to Space Age. His best-
selling A History of Florida has been widely adopted as a
junior college and university text.
Charles Coe's Red Patriots is one of the volumes in the
Bicentennial Floridiana Facsimile Series being published
by the Florida Bicentennial Commission. This twenty-
seven-member state commission was set up to plan Florida's
role in the national celebration and to develop state and
county projects that will enhance the three major themes
of the Bicentennial: Heritage '76, Festival '76, and Horizons
'76. Ten members represent the legislature, seven hold ex-
officio appointments, and ten persons are appointed by the
Governor. Governor Reubin Askew is honorary chairman of
the Commission, and Lieutenant Governor Tom Adams serves
as chairman.
The Florida Bicentennial Commission will publish
twenty-five facsimile volumes of rare, out-of-print Florida
history as one of its major Bicentennial projects. The titles
were selected to represent the whole spectrum of Florida's

Preface. vii
rich and exciting 450 year history. Scholars with a special
interest and knowledge of Florida history have been invited
to edit each volume, write an introduction, and compile an
In addition to the facsimile volumes, the Florida Bicen-
tennial Commission will publish a series of monographs,
pamphlets, and books on Florida. These will be designed for
the scholar, for use in the classroom, and for the general
public. The goal of the Florida Bicentennial Commission is
to make a lasting contribution to the scholarship of Florida

General Editor of the

University of Florida


Charles Henry Coe was born on February 3, 1856, in
Torrington, Litchfield County, Connecticut, where his father
kept a grocery store and was the postmaster. In 1874 he
came with his family to Florida. Six years later he left the
state to live the next forty years mostly in Washington, D.C.
During his first stay in Florida he developed an interest in
the Florida Indians that resulted in publication in 1898 of
his one important book, Red Patriots. He never lost his early
liking for Florida. Beginning in 1912, he made annual vaca-
tion trips until 1948 when he moved to Florida with his son,
who was retiring to live at Jupiter. Charles Coe died there
on March 23, 1954, in his ninety-ninth year.
Writing about Coe is made easier by some ten pages
of biographical data he set down in 1923, and by occasional
personal references in his other miscellaneous writings.
Mayne Reid Coe, still living at Jupiter, has preserved other
family papers, and from his own recollections contributes
further information. Three very good Florida friends of the
Coes add materially to the biographical data. Ernest F. Lyons,
editor and publisher of the Stuart News, knew Charles Coe
well from the middle thirties and participated with him in
some of his later Florida interests. Mr. and Mrs. John R.
DuBois of Jupiter were closely associated with the Coes and
shared the interest of the elder Coe in Florida history.
Charles Coe's personal history is itself interesting, and
is full of information about the times and places where he
lived. He was the third of four sons of William Henry Coe
and Deborah Little Archer. His father was born at Waterbury,
Connecticut, and married Charles' mother, a native of
Beverly, Massachusetts, at Waverly, Illinois, where her fam-
ily had moved.

x Introduction.

The Coe family lived in an amazing number of different
places and pursued a variety of efforts to make a living. In
1860 they were living in Birmingham, Connecticut, on the
Housatonic River, where they operated a general store. Later
they moved across the river to Huntington; there they cul-
tivated a market garden for the store at Birmingham, which
they reached by way of a covered bridge. Charles began his
schooling at Huntington. At nearby Derby, the oldest Coe
son, Fred, learned telegraphy and worked at it for the remain-
der of his life, principally at railroad stations in Illinois and
Michigan where he was sometimes ticket agent and station-
master as well as telegrapher. He died at La Harpe, Illinois,
in 1883.
In 1845-46, Charles' father first visited Eagle Harbor,
Michigan, on Lake Superior, presumably to explore the possi-
bility of employment in the copper mining industry. In
1851-55, the Coes were living again in Michigan. In 1864,
Mrs. Coe and the three younger sons sailed from Chicago
through the Great Lakes to Eagle Harbor, where the father
was resident agent for the Eagle Harbor Copper company
for which he managed four mines, the Essex, Sussex, Mid-
dlesex, and Eagle Harbor. The company provided a comfort-
able home, but it was two miles from the town, and, because
their home was too far from the school, Mrs. Coe taught her
children to read, write, and spell. The community offered
few attractions except the passing lake steamers, some of
which stopped for passengers and freight, and thus provided
some contact with the outside world. Charles Coe later re-
called the town's sandy streets, single hotel, a brewery, and
two or three dozen houses.
Early life in a rural and small town environment, much
of it on the frontier, and in a variety of places, left a mark
on the life of Charles Coe. He grew to love nature, and to
the end of his life, he enjoyed forests, streams, and wildlife,

Introduction. xi
as well as hunting, fishing, boating, botany and photography.
He was brought up on literature well calculated to re-inforce
these romantic interests. His mother read stories to him from
Youth's Companion and the natural history and adventure
stories of Oliver Optic and Captain Mayne Reid. Charles
named his first son Mayne Reid. He was happy, too, when
later, while living in Washington, he was able to purchase
for $25.00 an English bloodhound, which he named Marago
after a character in the Reid stories. He recalled also that
in his youth he could see countless numbers of carrier pigeons,
their passage darkening the sun and making a roar like a
railroad train as they passed overhead.
In the fall of 1864, Frank, the second son, accompanied
his father to Appleton, Wisconsin, to enter Lawrence College.
Two years later the family moved to Appleton where Mr.
Coe operated a furniture store and sold insurance. There the
family started a dairy with one cow, and eventually built
a herd of eleven cows. The boys helped and delivered the
milk by horse and wagon except in snow when they used
a sled. There, too, Frank, who worked in a woolen mill when
not in school, met a tragic death. On August 3, 1867, he
was sitting in a window eating his lunch, when a bullet fired
accidently from a musket struck and killed him.
In Appleton, Charles learned the printing trade that
would become his basic source of income. Like Benjamin
Franklin, he received his principal education from the reading
and writing associated with his printing work; his formal
education never went beyond grammar school. He worked
first with Captain J. N. Stone on the Appleton Times. For
a brief time he lived in Menasha, Wisconsin, but a raise
of $3.00 a week enticed him back to Captain Stone's estab-
Mr. Coe suffered from severe colds and a bad cough, which
was his reason for leaving Eagle Harbor, but the climate

xii Introduction.

in Appleton was no cure. He was actually suffering from
silicosis contracted at the copper mines. In the fall of 1873
he sold his business and the family paid a two months' visit
to an Uncle John in Illinois. Returning to Appleton, Coe
worked briefly on the construction of a railroad from there
to Manitowoc, but the cough persisted. Fearing that he was
suffering from tuberculosis, he came to Jacksonville, Florida,
that winter in search of a cure. He liked the area and, in
November 1874, the family joined him. In Jacksonville
Charles was able to pursue his interest in printing. He found
employment on the Jacksonville Tri-Weekly Union, and
became a member of local 162 of the National Typographical
In 1875 the family moved to a homestead four miles west
of New Smyrna, about a hundred miles south of Jacksonville.
This settlement later became Glencoe. The Reverend C. G.
Selleck, who had married the Coes in Waverley, Illinois, had
also migrated to Florida, and he offered them a house until
their own home was constructed. The homesteading venture
was reasonably successful, but Mr. Coe died October 23, 1879,
and Charles left shortly afterward to ply his trade elsewhere.
The mother and the youngest son remained until 1890, when
they sold out and joined Charles who then was briefly located
at Highlands, North Carolina.
In February 1877, Charles, now a journeyman printer,
launched his first newspaper, the Florida Star, with the
assistance of his family. The idea was to put out a small
monthly journal to circulate in the north and attract settlers
to the east coast of Florida. It was also to provide an exchange
of ideas and information on the cultivation of fruits and vege-
tables in the region. To raise the necessary capital, Charles
sold a small tract of land, but made more money by contracting
to clear it of timber and to grub the palmetto roots.
The Coes purchased a small foot and hand power press,

Introduction. xiii
a few fonts of six- and eight-point Roman and some display
type. Charles made his own cases and stand, galleys, mallet,
planer, lead cutter, and other small items. The press was
shipped by boat from Boston to Enterprise on Lake Monroe,
and Coe drove the thirty miles from New Smyrna in a wagon
to haul it back. On a cold Christmas morning, with ice on
the road, he set out for the return journey. After several
hours on the road, he came upon another traveler who had
stopped to build a roaring wood fire. Charles gratefully
accepted the invitation to stop and thaw out his cold and
numbed body. A drink of eggnog from his newfound friend
cheered him on his way.
The Florida Star, printed in the family home at Glencoe
and mailed in New Smyrna, was a sixteen-page, magazine-
size journal, printed two pages at a time. In the third year
it became a four-page weekly. The young publisher built up
circulation all over the country by exchanging advertisements
with other small publications. The subscription rate was
seventy-five cents a year, and single issues were eight cents.
His father solicited advertising in Jacksonville and other
towns along the coast. Local residents often paid in garden
and farm produce. For example, Charles Pearce, a pioneer
settler at Lake Worth, paid for a year's subscription with
a bushel of Bermuda onions. The content of the Star was
largely agricultural and horticultural, much of it obviously
ready-print purchased for the paper. On the first page of
volume 2, number 13 (February 1878), for example, the editor
made a strong case for Florida as a place to settle and invest
capital. There was a page on the culture of tea, a column
on home-grown bacon, and articles on oleanders and the use
of chicken manure as fertilizer. Almost half of the pages were
filled with display advertising, mostly from Jacksonville, but
some of it from mail-order houses elsewhere.
The death of Mr. Coe ended the publishing venture, and

xiv Introduction.

Charles sought a wider field, both for his ambitions and so
that he could contribute more to the support of the family.
He sold the paper early in 1880. Shortly after, it was moved
to Titusville and published for two decades under the same
name. Later it was merged with the Indian River News at
After Charles sold the paper, he bought a photographing
outfit and learned to make tintypes. Using a ten- by twenty-
foot tent, he traveled about the country, doing very well,
he recalled later, taking in as much as $12.00 a day making
photographs. The elder Coe had been named deputy collector
of customs at New Smyrna in 1878, a position to which Charles
succeeded, but he soon abandoned it to seek his fortune, first
in Jacksonville where he worked for two years with Horace
Drew in the printing business.
After some months in Jacksonville, he returned to New
Smyrna, but he still wanted to earn more money for himself
and his family. After a brief stay in New York City, he went
to Hartford, Connecticut, to work in a clerical capacity for
the American Publishing Company which was at the time
printing and distributing the Memoirs of General U. S. Grant.
After a year he was briefly in Florida again, but returned
to Hartford where, among other things, he marketed the fam-
ily's oranges and tangerines profitably.
During his first stay in Hartford, Charles had roomed
in a boardinghouse on Spring Street kept by a Mrs. Johnson.
There he met and married his landlady's daughter, Emma,
and their first son, Mayne Reid, was born in Hartford. Charles
and his family left there in the fall of 1888 to work on a
newspaper in Asheville, North Carolina. He loved the beauti-
ful mountains and forests of the region. After two months
he moved southwest about seventy miles, to Highlands in
the same state. A Florida friend, James Rideout, a prosperous
merchant and boardinghouse keeper, had induced him to

Introduction. xv
make the move. His mother and his brother, Will, sold out
at Glencoe and came to Highlands. There the Coe brothers
launched the Highlands Star. The equipment, an improve-
ment over that used to print the Florida Star, was set up in
the back room of the building which also housed the post
office. Will was the postmaster as he had been at Glencoe.
The paper lasted only a year. Highlands then, as it is now,
was a lively place in summer as it filled with tourists, but
there was little in the winter to hold the active-minded and
restless Coe. A second son, Fred, was born there.
In the spring of 1891, while Emma and the children were
visiting her parents in Hartford, Charles went to Washington,
where he secured a position in the Government Printing Office
as a compositor. His wanderings had ended; his family joined
him there and it remained his home until he retired in October
1921. Emma died in Washington August 2, 1931.
Charles temporarily lost his job several times because
of changes in national administrations. During such periods,
which he estimated added up to about six years, he earned
enough at odd printing jobs to support his family until he
could get back what he considered his real job. On one occasion
his wife asked her cousin, Justice Brewer of the United States
Supreme Court, to intercede for him.
In 1894, his mother and Will came from Highlands to
live in Washington. That same year Freddy died of whooping
cough and complications associated with it. Mayne too was
seriously ill of the same disease. Will died several years later
of locomotor ataxia, but the mother lived until 1912. Mayne
recalls a return trip to Highlands with his father in 1900.
They spent the time mostly seeking gems in the region, still
a principal activity for tourists. They could expect to find
emeralds, amethysts, garnets, moonstones, and on their own
land it had been said there was gold. Mica, feldspar, and
quartz also abounded.

xvi Introduction.

In Washington, Charles continued his interest in photog-
raphy. He took up the dry-plate process, and some of his
pictures were exhibited in the Corcoran Art Gallery. But
his most absorbing interest in his early years in Washington
was the study of the Seminole Indians, an enthusiasm that
began when he was living in Florida.
Washington was an ideal place to make such a study.
The Library of Congress and the Bureau of Indian Affairs
put him in touch with records and with people-private citi-
zens and public officials-who were concerned about the wel-
fare of the Indians. He collected all of the published materials
he could find, visiting second-hand bookstores and poring
over catalogues advertising used books in the United States
and England. He was not a wealthy man, and he often bought
books with money that might well have gone to make the
family more comfortable.
During one of the periods of unemployment in
Washington, Coe finished writing his account of the Florida
Seminoles which he entiledRed Patriots, and it was published
in 1898. Into it, he said later, he had put all of the time,
energy, and money that he could command. It was not a
financial success, but the author had helped to arouse interest
in the fate of the Florida Indians, and shortly thereafter they
received both state and federal lands, allowing them to remain
in Florida.
After a bout with pneumonia in 1912, Coe came to Florida
annually for his vacation. After he retired in 1921, his visits
became longer, and in 1948, when his son, Mayne, retired
at sixty years of age, Florida became their home. His son
purchased a motel on U.S. 1 at Jupiter, and when a hurricane
destroyed the wooden building, he built a modern concrete-
block structure. Until his eighty-ninth year, when the son
convinced him that he should give up running his boat,
Charles was always closely associated with boats and, until
his last years, lived on one. A tattered old yachting cap is

Introduction. xvii
remembered as his trademark, and he loved the title of cap-
tain. Mayne, on the other hand, found managing a motel
a difficult responsibility. He did not enjoy working with an
often inconsiderate public; he maintains that a man of science
should never go into this kind of business. He was glad when
real estate prices increased, allowing him to sell out and
retire to a home he purchased near the mouth of the Lox-
ahatchee River.
Charles H. Coe produced only one major book, but he
wrote numerous articles and two smaller books. In 1927,
Juggling a Rope: Lariat Roping and Spinning, Knots and
Splicing, Also The Truth About Tom Horn "King of the
Cowboys" was published by Hamly and Company of Pendle-
ton, Oregon. In the preface the author explains that "practi-
cal experiences in early life, backed by practice and usage on
land and water during later years qualifies the author in his
undertakings." His son does not recall how his father be-
came interested in roping, but reports that he had written
articles on that subject, as well as stories on knife throw-
ing, for Western Story Magazine. While on his annual visits
to Florida, he frequently entertained guests in the parks of
the towns where he tied up his boat for the night. His rope
tricks included spinning the rope, jumping in and out of
the loop, lassoing children, to their great delight as they
tried to escape, and jerking the rope so as to tie a knot in
it. He once owned three lariats. He himself spliced in the
honda for the loop. This was also closely related to his be-
ing a sailor. "He wasn't the artist that Will Rogers was,
but he was quite good in entertaining park visitors," said
his son. The 154-page book is full of drawings to illustrate
everything from knots and splices to the most intricate and
complicated rope tricks. It illustrates again the passionate
thoroughness with which he pursued the subject that inter-
ested him at the moment.
In a shorter book, DeBunking the So-Called Spanish Mis-

xviii Introduction.

sion Near New Smyrna Beach, Volusia County, Florida, pub-
lished in 1941, he revealed his extensive knowledge of the
history of the region. It began when Washington E. Connor,
a New York winter visitor, purchased the site and concluded
that it was the remains of a mission building to which he
gave the name Jororo de Atocuimi, and the founding date
1696. Connor thought that the arched windows were too
elaborate for a building to house a sugar mill, and that the
arches indicated some religious use.
Coe used the journal of Jonathan Dickinson, who was
shipwrecked near Jupiter in 1696, to argue that, since the
mission had not been mentioned in that account, there was
none there at the time. John James Audubon had described
the sugar mill there in 1831-32. Coe pointed out further that
Mrs. Jeannette Thurber Connor had not mentioned the mill
in her account of Dr. Andrew Turnbull's abortive attempt
to plant a colony at New Smyrna in the last quarter of the
eighteenth century. Nor had Bernard Romans or William
Bartram noted its presence in their extensive reports on
Florida in the same period. It could not, Coe argued, have
remained unidentified for two centuries. He also pointed out
that when he first saw the site and the ruins in 1874, the
coquina seemed quite fresh and clean in contrast to the
masonry at St. Augustine. He reported that some of the arches
had keystones and others had heavy iron supports; there were
also remains of kettles and furnaces and one kettle was in
place. Nor was it, he said, a mission building converted to
a new use; all of the construction had been done at approx-
imately the same date.
Recent archaeological, anthropological, and historical
research shows that all Spanish missions outside St. Augus-
tine were of wattle and daub, wood and mud construction,
and that they were either burned or they rotted away after
the destructive raids of the early eighteenth century. The

Introduction. xix

sugar mills were constructed in either the British period,
1764-84, or in the latter part of the second Spanish occupation
in the early nineteenth century. In addition, missions were
located near concentrations of Indian population and there
were enough artifacts to be found to identify them as Indian
sites, but this was not true of the New Smyrna area.1
Charles Coe was neither an archaeologist nor an
anthropologist, but he had a good working knowledge of
Indian customs and habits. He at least knew enough not
be a treasure hunter. By the time he returned to Florida
he had lost his interest in the Seminoles; the battle he had
waged for them had been won. He did bring to Florida a
consuming interest in Jonathan Dickinson's journal which
went through several editions with the subtitle God's Protect-
ing Providence. He owned an annotated copy of an early
edition, and he had constructed a map on which he attempted
to identify every location mentioned in the account of Dickin-
son's journey from five miles north of Jupiter, where the wreck
occurred, along the coast to St. Augustine. He had an equally
consuming desire to retrace the Dickinson steps. In 1935 or
1936, Ernest F. Lyons, now editor of the Stuart News, then
a reporter on the News and an outdoorsman familiar with
the locality, recalls that Coe came into his office and solicited
his interest and assistance in fulfilling his dream of retracing
Dickinson's steps. The two men spent considerable time in
the next dozen years in the search for evidence of the Dickin-
son trail.
Mr. Coe did much collecting of artifacts, particularly from
burial mounds. On his launch Buccaneer I, he displayed three
or four Indian skulls on the gunwales. Like most collectors
of his generation, he gathered remains of Indian culture indis-
criminately, and though he preserved much of what he found,
much of its value was lost by the manner of the collecting.
In Red Patriots, Charles Henry Coe championed the

xx Introduction.

cause of the Seminole Indians living in Florida. He considered
Florida, more specifically the reservation set aside for them
in the region between Lake Okeechobee and Ocala in the
Treaty of Moultrie Creek in 1823, to be the legitimate home
of the Seminole Indians. In his judgment they had been
robbed of their land in the subsequent Treaty of Payne's
Landing in 1832, which provided for their removal to Indian
territory west of the Mississippi. He characterizes their
attachment to their country, their resistance to removal, and
their willingness to die to win the right to stay there as
patriotism of the highest order, hence the title Red Patriots.
Coe was more concerned about the fate of those who
remained in Florida after the wars of removal, and in his
preface he explained that interest. What concerned him most
was that they were "still lingering there [in Southern Florida]
by sufferance only" without any title to the land, some public
and some private, on which they lived as squatters. He feared
that white settlers would soon reach the area and demand
their removal, perhaps to the West. In a flyer he distributed
to promote the sale of the book, he explained that Red Patriots
"was concerned to prevent such an act of injustice and cruelty,
and every effort is being made to circulate the book among
persons of influence. The author is especially desirous of plac-
ing a copy in the hands of members of Congress and the
Florida legislature." To this end he appealed to the reader
to subscribe for one or more copies; "the money cannot be
spent on a worthier object." He knew that both the state
and national governments were considering legislation to set
aside lands for the homeless Seminoles, but he feared they
would move too slowly, if at all.
His concern for the several hundred Seminoles remaining
in Florida led him to review the entire history of their migra-
tion to, and their life in, Florida. He mentions the aboriginal
Indians of Florida only once, when he states that they wel-

Introduction. xxi
comed the Seminoles. In fact, the 25,000 Indians estimated
to be in Florida at the time of the Spanish discovery were
practically all gone before the Seminoles began to move in
to fill the vacuum left by their departure and to escape the
increasing pressure of white settlers. Most of the original
Indian population had died of European-introduced dis-
eases to which they had no resistance or immunity. The
last of them left with the end of the first Spanish period
in 1763, when Florida became British. They did not return
in the second Spanish occupation which began twenty years
later and ended with the cession of the territory to the
United States in 1821.2
The greater part of the book is devoted to the wars of
Indian removal in Florida, especially the Second Seminole
War, 1835-42.3 The author's purpose is first to show how
wrong the Indians were treated in the steps leading to the
conflict, how patriotically they resisted removal, and the
unreasonable lengths to which the United States and Florida
went to expel them. He does not offer it as a complete account
of the wars.
The final section of the book is devoted to the remnant
of the Seminoles in Florida after the end of the wars and
their life up to the time the book appeared. Here he makes
a considerable contribution to Florida history because very
little is known of the Seminoles during those four decades.
They are, as has been noted, his special concern. "How shall
we fitly characterize this little band of perhaps a hun-
dred-remnant of a remnant-whose intense love of home,
and determination to remain in their native land, showed
them worthy descendants of the immortal Osceola. We call
them the flower of the nation, with patriotism and fidelity,
the most deeprooted of all." He pursues this theme sometimes
to extremes. Nobody knows how many Seminoles were left
in Florida, but there must have been more than a hundred.

xxii Introduction.

He also insists that the physical stature and health of those
who surrendered and went west was inferior to that of those
who refused to yield.
He writes briefly of the Seminoles in Oklahoma,4 only
to make the point that they were at first unable to have
a home of their own. Until 1856 they were settled on lands
allotted to the Creeks; this was difficult because of the deep
enmity between the two. He is all but obsessed with the neces-
sity for them to have a place they can call their own. Partly,
also, this reflects his doubt of the honest intentions of those
who planned their removal from Florida. A home of their
own was implicit in the treaties at Payne's Landing and Fort
How Charles Coe became so deeply interested in the
Florida Seminoles is not easy to determine. He was in Florida
only from 1874 to 1880, and occasionally for the next decade,
after which he lived and worked in Washington, where he
wrote the book. His stay in Florida was exclusively in Jack-
sonville and New Smyrna where he was struggling to make
a living as a printer. There is no evidence that he had any
direct contact with any Florida Indians. They lived in com-
parative isolation miles away, around, west, and south of
Lake Okeechobee. Yet he states that the interest began there
and the idea of the book originated during those early years.
One may guess that his interest in Indians began with the
romantic stories with which he grew up. Also, through his
newspaper work, he became aware of the growing concern
for Indian rights in the country, and this perhaps accounts
for his awareness of the plight of the Seminoles still in Florida.
He lists in his bibliography Helen Hunt Jackson's A Cen-
tury of Dishonor, published in 1881, but makes no reference
to the book which did so much to arouse the American con-
science on the issue of Indian rights. His own interest certainly
predates that book. He quotes approvingly from Joshua R.

Introduction. xxiii
Giddings, Exiles of Florida, or The Crimes Committed by
Our Government Against the Maroons Who Fled from South
Carolina and Other Slave States, Seeking Protection Under
Spanish Laws, published in Columbus, Ohio, in 1858. This
book champions the cause of Negroes, many of whom had
fled from slavery in nearby southern states to find freedom
in Spanish Florida and some who had enjoyed freedom under
Spanish law. They were then free Negroes, called Maroons
to distinguish them from runaway slaves who had no such
claim to freedom. Those Maroons who were descendants of
slaves grew up with the Indians, often in a dependent status,
but always as close allies. They usually spoke the language
of the Seminoles. After Florida became a part of the United
States, the Maroons were in danger of being enslaved if they
fell into the hands of slave-hunting southerners who some-
times appropriated them without a shadow of a legal claim.
Their only security lay in close alliance with the Seminoles.
Coe's interest in the Giddings volume appears to have been
largely its contribution in fact and in analogy to the story
of the Seminoles he was concerned about.5
Coe's awareness of some of the efforts in behalf of the
American Indian at the national level, both public and
private, is revealed in his brief account of them in his final
chapters. He dedicates his book to Mrs. Amelia S. Quinton
who served the Women's National Indian Association (WNIA)
as general secretary and as president for some twenty years.
The WNIA worked for the education and christianization of
the Indians. One of the forty missions the association estab-
lished was among the Seminoles in Florida. Coe tells some
of the story of this mission. He relates also some of the earliest
efforts of the national government in behalf of the Seminoles,
some of it closely related to that of the WNIA. He was perhaps
less aware that there were similar stirring of interest in
Florida. From the vantage point of Washington, he was more

xxiU Introduction.

aware of what was going on in the country at large. What
interested him most was any step that promised the Indians
land of their own; what disturbed him was the half-hearted
approach to the subject and the fear that expanding popula-
tion growth would absorb all of the public land before any-
thing effective could be done. He knew, for example, that
the United States government began in 1884 to appropriate
$6,000 annually to place the Indians of Florida on individual
homesteads. He knew also that it had produced no results.
Neither the Indian nor any of the public or private individuals
working to improve the lot of the Indians was sufficiently
interested to do anything effective, and the money had
reverted to the treasury. In 1887 the Commissioner of Indian
Affairs sent E. M. Wilson to Florida to inquire why no prog-
ress was being made in settling Indians on homesteads. After
two trips to the state, Wilson reported that the Seminoles
were generally hostile to whites and indisposed to trust them.
In fact, there was little communication between red and white
men. He did get the impression from two Indians he met
in a town that the Indians could become interested in getting
title to the land on which they were then living, usually
as squatters. They apparently already knew that this land
was not to be theirs. More important, the Indian was less
aware than people like Coe of what might happen to him
with the expansion of white settlements. They might easily
be ousted from their homes and possibly forced to join their
cousins in Oklahoma.6
Coe knew also that private efforts to get a more secure
status for the Seminoles were not any more effective. In 1891
the missionary committee of the WNIA under the leadership
of Mrs. Quinton had purchased 400 acres for $2,000 about
45 miles southeast of Fort Myers to be divided into small
individual holdings. This type of action may well have been
inspired by the Dawes Act of 1887 which set up a new Indian

Introduction. xxu
policy. Reservation lands held in common by tribal groups
were to be divided into individual holdings. The Indian was
to become a property-holding, self-sufficient individual with
all of the rights and responsibilities of citizenship. In short,
he was to be assimilated. This was of no advantage to the
Seminoles who had no reservation lands to be divided among
them. The United States Commissioner of Indian Affairs did
cooperate by purchasing eighty of the acres and sending down
a special agent to put up an office, storage buildings, living
quarters, and a school. Plans also included a sawmill to pro-
vide lumber for Indian homes and perhaps some to sell to
nearby settlers. All of this was designed also to give employ-
ment to the Indians, but they generally refused to participate.
It was alleged that local traders who opposed the interference
with their manner of doing business with the Indians prej-
udiced them against the efforts of the well-intentioned new-
The WNIA sent in Dr. Jacob E. Brecht of St. Louis as
a special agent, and he soon transferred to the Office of Indian
Affairs as an industrial arts teacher. Brecht was very much
interested in making a success of the wide-ranging project.
Among other things he tried establishing a store where they
might get fair prices on what they sold and purchased. He
could not wean them away from the traders who were less
interested in improving them, and more willing to cater to
their tastes.
Dr. Brecht became convinced that the Indians were not
yet ready to settle on homesteads and become farmers. In
fact, the Dawes Act found ready acceptance in few places.
Brecht began to use his influence increasingly to secure reser-
vation lands onto which they could move, or be moved, if
and when they were forced to vacate the lands on which
they were living. In 1894 the Congress made one more effort
to purchase land for homesteads, but Brecht found none desir-

xxvi Introduction.

able for sale for that purpose. Brecht resigned in 1898 and
retired to Fort Myers. Two years later the sawmill was sold
and removed. In 1904 the United States government sold
the eighty acres it had been using as part of the project.
But Dr. Brecht had started a move that eventually achieved
what he and Charles Coe and others thought most important.
By 1908, he and those who succeeded him had acquired 23,640
acres at a cost of $15,265.75. The list of sellers indicates
what was happening to Florida land in that area. One
purchase was from Frank Brown, a local resident. Another
was from Hamilton Disston, who had purchased four million
acres of swamp and overflowed lands at twenty-five cents
an acre. The Florida Southern Railroad and the Plant Invest-
ment Company had received their lands as subsidies for rail-
road building in other parts of the state. This was not the
most desirable land, but it did include some on which the
Indians actually lived, and in time it became the Big Cypress
Indian Reservation.
In 1894 the WNIA had joined with the Episcopal Church
to establish a mission to educate and convert the Indians.
They opened Christ Church in Immokalee in July 1896, but
Indians could not be induced to come to services, and the
church was used only by the local white settlers. The WNIA
soon turned its interest over to the Southern Florida Diocese
of the Episcopal Church. The continuing effort to reach the
Seminoles happily became the concern of Bishop William
Crane Gray whose interest in religion on the Florida frontier
deserves more recognition than it has had. He worked with
white congregations from Orlando to Miami and Key West,
and was responsible for expanding the effort among the
Seminoles. When the Indians could not be attracted to the
church at Immokalee, he decided to take the mission to the
Indians. Perhaps he got the idea from Bill Brown who moved
his trading post from Immokalee to Boat Landing (or Brown's

Introduction. xxvii
Landing) at the head of canoe navigation on the western
edge of the Everglades, and it became a great gathering place
for the Seminoles. The church acquired a section of land only
three miles away from the trading post. There, in the year
that Red Patriots was published, Bishop Gray dedicated
Glades Cross Mission. It derived its name from a large cypress
beam nailed high on a palm tree to form a cross. Other struc-
tures included a lodge, a small store, a hospital, and some
service buildings. Some hammock land was cleared for garden
farming. In 1905 an English pharmacist and missionary, Dr.
W. J. Godden, joined the staff and became the moving force
in the operation. Three years later Bill Brown sold the store
to Bishop Gray and returned to Immokalee, an increasingly
large white settlement. The store now became the center of
the mission. New buildings and new services were added,
but the measure of success was limited. Bishop Gray moved
away in 1913 and Dr. Godden died a year later. The Seminole
mission had lost its two friends. The work was dropped, but
it was not to be the end." In 1932 Deaconess Harriet M. Bedell,
home in Buffalo, New York, on leave from missionary work
for the Episcopal Church in Alaska, was invited to Florida
to lecture. She learned the story of the Glades Cross Mission,
so similar to the kind of work she had done in Oklahoma
and Alaska, and secured permission to revive it, saying that
her leave pay was enough for her needs. She set up the mission
in a small building in the town of Everglades City where
she continued to work with the Seminoles until 1960 when
Hurricane Donna ruined the building's contents. The dea-
coness retired, and the mission was closed.
Though he reports much less of it, Coe also knew some-
thing of the scattered and feeble efforts of other Floridians
in behalf of the homeless Seminoles. One of the great concerns
of some whites was the demoralizing influence of alcoholic
liquor on the Indians. But it was not easy to do anything

xxviii Introduction.

about it. Many Indians had an insatiable thirst for it. When
M. C. Osbon, a Kissimmee, Florida, landowner, worked with
Chief Tallahassee and used his influence to stop the sale
of liquor to them in his town, they took their business to
other places where no such scruples interfered with the trade.
In 1887 Mrs. Lily Pierpoint of Winter Haven wrote to the
wife of President Grover Cleveland, describing the plight of
the Seminoles and asking the First Lady to intercede in their
behalf. Mrs. Pierpoint received a one-year appointment as
a sort of honorary Indian agent, but nothing more tangible
came of it.9
The Florida legislature also began to respond belatedly
to the growing interest in the Indians. In 1891 the lawmakers
authorized the Trustees of the Internal Improvement Fund,
who managed state lands, to set aside not more than five
thousand acres for them. No money was appropriated. There
was no real sense of need for such a reservation, and no
action followed. In 1898 Friends of the Seminole, a group
of interested white citizens at Kissimmee, paid forty dollars
for eighty acres for the use of the Cow Creek band in St.
Lucie County. The Indians would not use it. The land on
which they were living at the time was not available at a
price which the group could pay. On May 29, 1899, the legisla-
ture set aside a large tract, but was unwilling to provide
funds for the purchase of the greater part of it, which was
already owned by white citizens. The legislature also made
a half-hearted and inadequate effort to establish an industrial
school for Indian children.
How many of Florida's lawmakers ever saw a copy of
Charles Coe's book is doubtful. In any case it was not until
1917 that Florida finally set aside land for the Seminoles.
By that date almost all of the arable land in state hands
was sold, but Florida still held a large acreage of Everglades
land considered by many Floridians as usable "only by people

Introduction. xxix
like Indians." They were allotted some 100,000 acres, south
of the Tamiami Trail in Monroe County in the western Ever-
glades, reaching down to Shark River. If the Seminoles ever
used it at all, it was for occasional hunting trips. They had
established temporary living quarters on a few of the places
that were above normal water levels in the area.10 That Coe
was still known to be concerned about a home for them is
indicated by a letter from a Jacksonville friend notifying him
that both houses of the legislature had passed the measure
and that Governor Sidney J. Catts had signed it. This appar-
ently was the end of Charles Coe's active interest in behalf
of the Florida Seminoles. The battle had been won.
The Seminoles attracted very little attention until the
creation of the Everglades National Park in 1947. Questions
were raised about their land rights in the area and their
possible use of the acreage which had been allotted them.
It developed that they neither lived on the land nor used it.
It was, therefore, relatively easy to exchange it for a similar
acreage of state land in the upper Everglades in western
Broward County, adjacent to the Big Cypress Reservation
in Hendry County. It was not very good land, but it was
more usable than that which became part of the park. In
some areas timber was produced, and part was usable for
grazing and farming. It has since developed that there might
be oil beneath it. Exploration is now being held up by the
threat to the fresh water supply in the Everglades National
Park and, for that matter, all of southeast Florida.
As pressure of white settlement has affected him more
and more, the Indian has moved onto the reservation land,
particularly the Big Cypress Reservation, but it has not
become the Seminole homeland that Coe dreamed of. Many
Indians do not live there and do not have the attachment
that identifies them as Red Patriots. In 1954, Kenneth
Marmon, Indian agent at Dania, Florida, reported 918 names

xxx Introduction.

on the tribal rolls: 180 on the Dania reservation, 218 at
Brighton, and 140 at Big Cypress. Seventy-five or eighty lived
at Miami, and 305 along the Tamiami Trail, mostly in Collier
County. At that time, 155 of 257 children of school age were
in school, 97 in nine different public schools and 57 in federal
day and boarding schools.
The Florida Indians remain seriously fragmented and
scattered; this, in spite of their living on lands of their own,
does not argue strongly for their ability to maintain their
cultural integrity in an overwhelmingly white community.
In 1957 they were incorporated and each group had represen-
tation on a tribal council. Subsequently, a more militant fac-
tion split off and was incorporated as the Miccosukee Tribe
of Florida in 1960. In 1971 the Miccosukees assumed control
of their own affairs on a reservation between the Tamiami
Trail and the northern boundary of the Everglades National
Park. The best estimate of present numbers is about 300
Indians each in five groups: the big Cypress, the Brighton,
the Dania-Hollywood, and the Miccosukee reservations, and
scattered, unaffiliated individuals.
Charles Coe, champion of property rights for the
Seminoles, would have rejoiced in some of the recent develop-
ments affecting them. In 1950 the Seminoles in Florida and
Oklahoma joined in a suit against the United States Govern-
ment for compensation for losses suffered when the Treaty
of Moultrie Creek (1823) and the Treaty of Payne's Landing
(1832) were allegedly violated. The case went to the Indian
Claims Commission which, after extensive hearings, acted
in 1964 by setting the loss in 1823 at 23.8 million acres of
land, and in 1832 at 5.8 million acres, but left the amount
of the compensation to be determined later. The United
States appealed the commission's decision, but the Appeals
Court upheld the commission in 1967, and it too left only
the compensation to be settled.

Introduction. xxxi
The spokesmen for the Indians tried for a settlement
based upon a minimum price of $1.25 per acre for public
land at the time. The Claims Commission, however, set the
total value at $12.2 million, or about one-fourth that proposed.
The Indians refused to accept the amount, and took their
case to the United States Court of Claims which, on February
4, 1972, returned the issue to the Claims Commission for
further study, specifically for more justification for its find-
ings if these were to be accepted as a basis for the settlement.
However Charles Coe came to write Red Patriots, it must
be evaluated in the light of two important considerations.
The author had little formal education and no training or
experience in historical research and writing, and it was
written, as he said, "more from the standpoint of the Indian."
He admitted that his book was written to defend the right
of the Seminoles to remain in Florida on lands of their own.
This singleness of purpose determined what topics he would
select for emphasis and how he would treat them.
In view of these limitations, the book is remarkably good.
Coe's informal education was considerable. His writing was
not limited to this book, but included numerous articles and
two other small books. His literary style is not distinguished,
but the narrative is clearly set forth. The sources he uses
and cites are better than anyone could reasonably expect
of him. The standards of historical methodology were only
then being established. Coe's practices are as good as the
average product of the historical profession in his day. He
used most of the contemporary printed sources. He examined
some, if not all, of the documentary sources available in
Washington at the time, and some periodicals-more than
anyone writing about the subject up to his time. He was
in contact with individuals in Washington and elsewhere who
were interested in the welfare of the Indian. He frankly ac-
knowledged his partisanship and his purpose, but his point

xxxii Introduction.

of view obscured the value of his contribution. He had little
but his consuming interest in their history and their fate
to guide him in writing of the Florida Seminoles.
For these reasons he makes a better case for the
Seminoles than any writer before or since. He emphasizes
that the peacefully inclined Indians were goaded by white
depredations and injustice into violent acts of desperation.
"What wonder then that such underserved wrongs and
accumulated outrages kindled in the bosom of the proud and
revengeful Seminole an unextinguishable hatred of the white
"Seminoles were far from being a cruel and warlike
people. Their resort to the rifle and the scalping knife was
due to the injustice of the white man, and the intense patriot-
ism of the Indian." He several times returns to this revengeful
theme. After the destruction of Negro Fort on the
Apalachicola River in 1816, when the Indians ambushed a
detachment of United States soldiers on their way up the
river to Fort Scott, and killed seven women and children
and all but six of the forty soldiers, Coe could write, "Again
the Seminole unable to restrain their passions longer, tasted
the revenge so dear to the Indian heart."
Red Patriots, as the subtitle indicates, covers the story
of the Seminoles from the time they began to move into
Florida, at widely scattered intervals and in small bands,
early in the eighteenth century. The final and largest migra-
tion occurred after General Andrew Jackson defeated the
Creeks in the Battle of Horseshoe Bend in 1814, and forced
them to cede much of their land in Alabama and Georgia.
At that time, rather than emigrate westward with their
kinsmen, some thousand warriors and their families moved
into Florida. This nearly doubled the Seminole population,
estimated to be about 5,000, living in 25 villages, bound
together in only the loosest fashion. In their resistance to

Introduction. xxxiii
efforts to remove them from Florida, the Seminoles became
more unified. The major emphasis is upon the Second
Seminole War, but the whole story serves as background
for his plea in behalf of the several hundred Seminoles still
in the state in his day.11
As might be supposed, one of Coe's early and chief villains
is Andrew Jackson. He roundly condemns Jackson's raids
into Spanish Florida in 1814 and 1818 to chase and chastize
Seminoles. He is careful also to point out and refute Jackson's
insistence, after Florida became a part of the United States,
that if the Seminoles had any land rights, these were not
in Florida, but in the West where the other Creeks had mi-
grated, and that the Seminoles should join them there. Coe
cites the cession by the Indians to Forbes and Company of
1.2 million acres on the lower Apalachicola, early in the
nineteenth century, in payment of debts. In 1806 Governor
Juan Vicente Folch approved the grant, thereby acknowledg-
ing the Indians' ownership of the land. The United States
Supreme Court validated the Forbes grant in 1835, again
confirming Indian rights. Coe also cites the treaty of cession
of 1819 which guaranteed the property and civil rights of
all inhabitants, Indians and whites. The treaties at Moultrie
Creek and Payne's Landing also acknowledged Indian rights
to the land, Jackson notwithstanding. Presumably it was
Coe's concern with Indian rights that led him to ignore the
opportunity to condemn Jackson for ordering the execution
in 1818 of Robert Ambrister and Alexander Arbuthnot, Brit-
ish subjects in Spanish Florida.
He sometimes overstates the case for the Indians. This
may be due as much to the sources he was using as to his
eagerness to find grounds to defend them. Of the massacre
of Major Francis L. Dade's command, December 28, 1835,
he reports that when General Francis P. Gaines came upon
the scene of the slaughter on February 20, the Indians had

xxxv Introduction.

not disturbed the bodies except by taking some scalps. He
then quotes an editorial from Niles' Register, April 21, 1836:
"Major Dade's uniform was not found. With this exception
not one of those brave men had been plundered. Silver, gold
and jewelry and watches were untouched. Nothing was taken
but arms and ammunition." Coe attributes all of this restraint
to Osceola's influence. Other accounts of the conflict state
that the Indians did not plunder the dead men, but their
Negro allies who did not participate in the fighting did so
after the Indians withdrew. Professor John K. Mahon who
has made the most careful study of all the available sources
concludes that the Indians scalped only a few and did not
kill the wounded. They took only some clothing and arms
and ammunition, but the Negroes came in after them and
killed the wounded and plundered the dead.12
The hero of the war story is Osceola, and Mr. Coe makes
a considerable contribution to the legend that has grown up
around him. He fails to realize that it is the wrongs done
to Osceola that made him such a romantic and legendary
figure. This is especially true of his capture under a flag
of truce and his imprisonment first in Fort Marion (Castillo
de San Marcos) at St. Augustine and later in Fort Moultrie
on Sullivan's Island in Charleston Harbor, where he died,
not of a broken heart, but of quinsy complicated by malaria.
The Indians had picked up malaria at Fort Drane which they
occupied when the whites abandoned it because the area was
so infested with malaria. Osceola was already a sick and
defeated man. Professor Mahon concluded that other Indian
leaders were not sorry to have Osceola removed from the
war scene. Some of them held him responsible for many of
their difficulties.13
Coe uses contemporary sources to establish that Osceola
was a full-blooded Indian, and that his mother married Powell
after Osceola's father died. He emphasizes also that the young

Introduction. xxxu

warrior spoke no English and insisted that he had none but
Indian blood. Though portraits of him generally show facial
features that are more European than Indian, this was not
unusual among portraits of Indians. George Catlin, the best
known of the painters, spent considerable time with him and
did four portraits. Both on the basis of what he observed
and what the Indian told him, Catlin concluded that he was
all Indian.
"Osceola's honorable and magnanimous character," his
champion wrote, "is well established by the fact that he not
only abstained personally from taking part in the violent
border depredations during the war, but discouraged them
among his followers." He quotes the slave Sampson as saying
that Osceola constantly urged war parties to spare women
and children, and "His powerful influence would have been
exerted, had the policy of the government been different, to
promote peace and amity between the two races and
from a steadfast friend he was transformed into a determined
foe." He includes the story of the sheath-knife "signing" of
the agreement ratifying the Payne's Landing Treaty which
provided for emigration to the west. Dr. Mahon reports that
there is a slit in the paper that could have been made with
a knife driven into it, but that there is no other confirmation
of the story.14 The war really began, says Mr. Coe, when
Osceola was arrested and placed in irons for that piece of
insolence. He was released after four days when he gave his
verbal approval of the agreement.
Coe blames General Thomas Sidney Jesup for the inci-
dent on June 2, 1837: Osceola and Sam Jones with 200 war-
riors surrounded the camp at Fort Brooke where some 700
Seminoles had gathered for transportation to their new homes
and induced or possibly forced them to return to the woods.
It is charged that the general either could not or would not
keep his agreement to allow the Negroes to go west with

xxxvi Introduction.

their allies and owners. He relates a story that Osceola later
went to Fort Mellon and indicated his willingness to go if
the government would do as Jesup had agreed. He adds that
he was never able to document the story.
General Jesup is the principal villain in Coe's account
of the Seminole wars. Jesup was one of the seven commanders
who served in the second and major phase of the wars; none
of them added anything to his military reputation in Florida.
Only one, Zachary Taylor, was ever credited with winning
a major battle and that was when he had only a subordinate
command. It was not that they could not have won battles,
but that they could not get the Indians to stand and fight
their kind of war. This is even more remarkable in Jesup's
case for he was, as Professor Mahon points out, certainly
the most important white man in the war. Measured by his
success in removing Indians, he was by far the most successful.
He served in Florida from December 9, 1836, to May 15,
1838. Only Taylor, who served two years in command, was
there longer. In those eighteen months Jesup accounted for
100 Indians killed and 2,900 captured or induced by negotia-
tion or pressure to come in and be transported to Indian ter-
ritory, more than all of the other commanders together. The
war dragged on for another four years, but the backbone
of Indian resistance had been broken. They began to suffer
increasing privation as they were driven farther and farther
south into the watery wilderness. This induced the less
strongly committed ones to give up the struggle.
To Coe, it was an Indian war. He notes that Jesup con-
cluded after a few months that it was a Negro war, but he
does not develop this theme. His realization of the importance
of Negroes, slave and free, did affect Jesup's strategy in deal-
ing with the Indians and their Negro allies. More recently
Kenneth Wiggins Porter has made a more searching analysis
of the role of the Negro in the Seminole War; this explains

Introduction. xxxvii

more fully the meaning of Jesup's statement and the policy
based upon it.s1 Porter argues that Negroes may have been
more important than Indians in causing the conflict. He feels
that Indians, not directly in the path of white settlement,
might have been allowed to remain in Florida had it not
been for the Negroes. It follows that removal of the Indians
themselves was accepted as the only solution of the Negro
problem. To southern whites the issue was more than the
Indian as a protector of the fugitive slave. It was also the
example of the Negro living in comparative freedom and se-
curity, in view of slaves, a situation that would not only en-
courage more slaves to flee to join them, but would ultimately
enhance the possibility of civil insurrection on the frontier
to free slaves. The Negroes at first resisted removal and in-
fluenced Indians to resist. Free Negroes and runaway
slaves alike doubted that they would be allowed to emi-
grate with the Indians. They particularly feared that assem-
bling at emigration camps would expose them to "recap-
ture" by whites who had real or alleged claims to them.
When Jesup recognized that Negroes were responsible for
some of the Indian resistance, he shifted his policy. First,
he reneged on his promise to Creek scouts that they could
keep Seminole plunder, including slaves, that they had cap-
tured. He then offered freedom and protection to Negroes
who would surrender and migrate to Indian territory. He
made no distinction between free Negroes and runaway
slaves, though he was under orders to return slaves to
legal owners. An increasing number of Negroes came in
to accept the terms Jesup offered and the Seminole posi-
tion was thereby weakened by loss of their allies, but
one cause of white opposition to Seminoles in Florida was
also weakened. It may also be true that Negroes were in-
creasingly doubtful that the hard-pressed Indians could
provide them a secure refuge in Florida.

xxxviii Introduction.

The general met criticism and hostility from some faction
no matter what he did. Part of it arose from the growing
sectional controversy over slavery. Southern slaveowners
objected strenuously when Jesup resisted their slave-hunting
activities. When he conceded that some of the Negroes were
runaway slaves to which the owners could prove their claim,
abolitionists called him a slave catcher. But Jesup was most
condemned for his alleged duplicity in his dealing with the
Indians. He is probably best remembered for his capture of
Osceola and his party and other groups of Indians who came
in under flags of truce to negotiate. Two decades after the
war he still found it necessary to defend his actions.
Professor Mahon concludes that Jesup's attitude changed
after June 2, 1837. Whether he really felt that the Indians
would then migrate and that the war was almost over is
not clear; he certainly acted as if he thought the object of
the conflict was about to be achieved. When his expectations
were destroyed and he was left looking a little foolish, he
became more cynical in his methods of dealing with the
Indians and was ready to do almost anything that promised
success. He defended himself,16 and the other commanders
in Florida, too, with the argument that the more famous
Indian fighters, Anthony Wayne, William Henry Harrison,
and Andrew Jackson, had never had to hunt Indians in the
Florida wilderness. Professor Mahon agrees that it is doubtful
if United States ground forces ever endured harder field con-
ditions. As to his method of dealing with the Indians, Jesup
argued that they abused or ignored the flag of truce as it
served their purposes. He also took the position that, if the
policy of Indian removal was going to be carried out, it was
more humane to take them under a flag of truce than to
let them return to the woods to be hunted down and possibly
killed. It could also be pointed out, in his defense, that he
saw no reason they should not remain in Florida until such

Introduction. xxxix

time as whites were ready to occupy the land. Coe never
doubted that Jesup's duplicity made it impossible to deal with
the Indians, and that, because they could not trust him, they
could only resist him.
Coe, of course, was not the only defender of the Indians.
Many of the officers and men sent to hunt them down sym-
pathized with their plight. They hated the duty in the hot,
wet, and humid wilderness and saw no reason the Seminoles
should not be left there. Coe, as he indicates in his book,
was often able to find support for his position in the periodicals
of the war years.
Mr. Coe found one commanding general of whom he could
approve: Zachary Taylor, who first came to Florida on orders
dated July 31, 1837, made a reputation for himself in the
Battle of Okeechobee, the last pitched battle of the war,
December 25, 1837. As a reward he rose to the rank of
brigadier general. Coe writes comparatively little of the
battle, and concludes that, because of the disparity in numbers
participating and in casualties suffered, it was a victory for
the Indians. Interestingly enough, too, though he earlier
relates that Coacoochee or Wildcat succeeded Osceola as the
leader of the militant opposition to removal, he fails to note
that Coacoochee participated in the battle. He had escaped
from St. Augustine just in time to round up about eighty
of his followers and hold the left flank of the Indian position.17
The reasons for Coe's approval of Taylor are not difficult
to understand. While the general disapproved the policy of
forcible removal, he did not question the orders of his superiors
who directed it. He did refuse to use the army to assist owners
to recover runaway slaves, and he would not permit owners
or their agents to inspect Negroes in his camps, though he
was under orders to return runaways who could be identified.
He also urged Seminoles to go west for their own good, to
recognize that it was futile for them to remain in Florida.

xl Introduction.

In March 1839, Alexander Macomb, commanding general
of the United States Army, came to Florida with orders from
the secretary of war to do whatever was necessary to protect
citizens and to end the war. Taylor and his staff told Macomb
that the conflict could be ended only by allowing the remain-
ing Seminoles to stay in Florida. Macomb, who had been
given wider latitude than any other Florida commander to
deal with the problem, entered into an agreement to settle
them south of the Peace River and west of Lake Okeechobee
with a trading post on the Caloosahatchee to make it unneces-
sary for them to come into contact with any other whites.
It was not made clear at the time that this was a temporary
expedient rather than a change of policy. The Indians, when
they realized the limited character of the agreement, attacked
the garrison sent to set up the trading post on July 23, 1839,
and killed eleven of the nineteen soldiers and five of the
seven civilians in Lieutenant Colonel William S. Harney's
Taylor also shared with Coe a sharp dislike of Floridians,
civilian or militia. When Macomb refused to take over Taylor's
field command, Taylor asked to be relieved, saying that he
and his regular troops were disliked and opposed by Florid-
ians. He was not alone in charging that Florida militia were
not reliable as soldiers, that white guerillas dressed as Indians
committed outrages for which Indians were blamed, and that
many Florida citizens who profited by the presence of the
army did what they could to prolong the war.19
The most serious charge against Taylor came from non-
Floridians, and, as Coe points out, it was not Taylor's doing
at all. It had to do with the use of bloodhounds to track Indians.
The idea was mentioned as early as 1837 when General Jesup
threatened to use them and proposed this to the Secretary
of War. Secretary Poinsett said that he had authorized Taylor
to secure the dogs, but he did not act. The governor and

Introduction. xli
the Legislative Council in Florida then seized the initiative.
Governor Richard Keith Call sent Richard Fitzpatrick to
Cuba to purchase thirty-three dogs and to employ four han-
dlers. They were placed in training at Magnolia under the
supervision of the quartermaster general of the territory. On
January 27, 1840, Governor Robert Raymond Reid offered
the dogs to Taylor who accepted two of them on trial. When
Florida billed Taylor $2,429.52 for the animals, he refused
to approve the payment because they had failed the test.
The navy also tried using dogs but without any greater suc-
While the dogs were never used to catch Indians or
Negroes, their reported use stirred a storm of protest that
was comparable to Jesup's captures made under a flag of
truce. Abolitionists charged that the real purpose was to catch
runaway slaves, not to end the war. But the protest was
wider, for many Americans considered the use of dogs inhu-
mane. Much of the frustration produced by the long, costly,
and apparently futile war found an outlet in the attack on
the use of dogs. Taylor at the time received most of the blame.
Though Charles Coe does not report the state's role, he cor-
rectly exonerates Taylor and notes that it began with his
arch-villain Jesup. Jesup should not have to bear the entire
blame since he had already left Florida, and had not initiated
use of the dogs in the first place.
A useful appendix to Coe's book lists forts established
in Florida during the Seminole War. Many of them were
only temporary depots, but a casual survey of the names
that have remained in modern settlements is significant.
Many of them became the nuclei of communities in hitherto
unknown area.21 The index is accurate and comprehensive.

University of Miami


1. Mark F. Boyd, "A Sugar Empire Dissolves,"Florida Historical
Quarterly 30 (July 1951):69-73; "Enumeration of Spanish Missions
in 1675," FHQ 27 (October 1948):181-88; with Hale G. Smith and
John W. Griffin, Here They Once Stood: The Tragic End of the
Apalachee Missions (Gainesville: University of Florida Press, 1951);
Michael V. Gannon, The Cross in the Sand; The Early Catholic
Church in Florida, 1513-1870 (Gainesville: University of Florida
Press, 1965).
2. Ripley P. Bullen, "Prehistoric Florida," and Adelaide K.
Bullen, "Florida Indians, Past and Present," chaps. 23 and 24 in
Charlton W. Tebeau and Ruby Leach Carson, Florida from Indian
Trail to Space Age, 3 vols. (Delray Beach, Fla.: Southern Publishing
Co., 1965).
3. Wilfred T. Neill, The Story of the Florida Seminoles (St. Peter-
sburg, Fla.: Great Outdoors Publishing Co., 1964); John K. Mahon,
History of the Second Seminole War, 1835-1842 (Gainesville: Univer-
sity of Florida Press, 1967).
4. Edwin C. McReynolds, The Seminoles (Norman: University
of Oklahoma Press, 1957); Roy Nash, "A Survey of the Seminoles
of Florida," Senate Document 314, 71 Cong., 3d sess. (Washington:
G.P.O., 1931); Charlton W. Tebeau, Florida's Last Frontier: The His-
tory of Collier County, chaps. 3 and 4 (Coral Gables, Fla.: University
of Miami Press, 1957).
5. Kenneth W. Porter, "Negroes and the Civil War," Journal
of Southern History 30 (1964):427-50.
6. James W. Covington, "Federal and State Relations with the
Florida Seminoles, 1875-1901," Tequesta 32 (1972):17-27.
7. Tebeau, Last Frontier, chap. 5.
8. William and Ellen Hartley, A Woman Set Apart (New York:
Dodd Mead, 1963), a biography of Deaconess Bedell and an account
of her work with the Florida Seminoles.
9. See note 6.
10. Charlton W. Tebeau, Man in the Everglades: 2,000 Years
of Human History in the Everglades National Park, 2d rev. ed. (Coral
Gables, Fla.: University of Miami Press, 1968). Originally published
as They Lived in the Park: The Story of Man in the Everglades
National Park (1964).
11. For fuller treatments of the Second Seminole War see Mahon,
Second Seminole War; Tebeau, Last Frontier, chap. 3 and 4; Jacob
Rhett Motte, Journey into Wilderness: An Army Surgeon's Account

Introduction. xliii
of Life in Camp and Field During the Creek and Seminole Wars,
1836-1838, ed. James F. Sunderman (Gainesville: University of
Florida Press, 1953).
12. For two modern views, see Mahon, Second Seminole War,
pp. 104-6; Frank Laumer, Massacre (Gainesville: University of
Florida Press, 1968).
13. Osceola has been the subject of extensive writing. See, par-
ticularly, Mark F. Boyd, "Asi-Yahlo," FHQ 33 (January-April
1965):249-305. This double issue is devoted entirely to articles on
Osceola. Charles H. Coe, "The Parentage and Birthplace of Osceola,"
FHQ 17 (April 1939):304-11; Mahon, Second Seminole War, pp.
91-92; Joseph E. McCarthy, "Portraits of Osceola and the Authors
Who Painted Them," Jacksonville (Florida) Historical Society,
Papers (1949), 2:23-45.
14. Second Seminole War, p. 98.
15. See note 5.
16. Mahon, Second Seminole War, pp. 240-44.
17. For accounts of the battle, see Alfred Jackson Hanna and
Kathryn Abbey Hanna, Lake Okeechobee: Well Spring of the Ever-
glades (Indianapolis: Bobbs-Merrill, 1948), pp. 35-46; Mahon, Sec-
ond Seminole War, pp. 227-31; J. Floyd Monk of Miami has a book-
length unpublished manuscript account of the battle; I examined it
in 1972.
18. Oliver Griswod, "William S. Harney, Indian Fighter,"
Tequesta 9 (1949):73-80; William C. Sturtevant, "Chakika and the
Spanish Indians," Tequesta 13 (1953):35-73.
19. Motte, Journey into Wilderness, makes these charges
20. James W. Covington, "Cuban Bloodhounds and the
Seminoles," FHQ 33 (October 1954):111-19; Mahon, Second Semi-
nole War, pp. 265-67.
21. For an updated list, see H. J. Chaffer, "Florida Forts Estab-
lished Prior to 1860," typescript in the P. K. Yonge Library of Florida
History, University of Florida, Gainesville. Photocopy in the Univer-
sity of Miami Library, Coral Gables, Florida.


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From Catlln'e Painting, No,'301 Smithsoni#u Museum,






"Adds to the earnestness of historic justice the charm of dramatic interest."
-Gov't Official.



Who, as General Secretary, and longer as President, of the
has labored twenty years for the elevation and christiani-
zation of our native Indian tribes; and under whose leader-
ship more than forty Missions have been established among
them, including one for the


OSCEOLA Fro tispitce
DR. J. E. BRECHT 3- -


Origin and Early History of the Seminoles-Testimony
Regarding Their Numbers, Character and Condi-
P A G( E ................... ..... .... ... ................. ...............................5


The First Hostilities and their Origin-The Maroons
and Fugitive Slaves-Invasions of Spanish Terri-
tory-Massacre by Our Forces-Protest of the
Spanish Governor-General Jackson's Barbarous
"Example"-Destruction of the Indian Settle-
ments-Congressional Investigation-Cession of
Florida-Indians Appeal to the President-A
Party of Seminoles Visit the Bahamas.
P AGE .....................................................................10


Neamathla, Principal Chief of the Nation-Other Dis-
tinguished Chiefs-John Hicks and Mickenopah,
Successors to Neamathla-Osceola and His Asso-
ciate Chiefs-Early Life and Personal Appearance
of Osceola-His Peaceable Character-Cession of
Florida to the United States-Events Leading to
the Seminole War-Acts of Injustice-Proof that
the Seminoles Were Peaceable.
PAGE ........................ .............. .........................,.... ............ 24

ii Contents.

Treaty of Camp Moultrie-Incursions of Cattle-Thieves
and Slave-Hunters-Treaty of Payne's Landing-
Presence of Osceola-Abraham, the Maroon-
Our Government's Reprehensible Course-Semi-
nole Nation Refuses to Ratify the Treaty-
Osceola Speaks for the Nation-General Gadsden's
Valuable Opinion.
P A G E ............................. ........... ............ ....... ... ............. .....38

Another Meeting With the Chiefs-Osceola "Signs" a
Paper-The Chief Placed in Irons-The Agent's
Opinion of Osceola-Again Imprisoned-Osceola
Gives the War-Cry-Seminoles' Right to Their
Homes-First Victim of' the Nation's Decree-
Osceola is Appointed Head War-Chief-Com-
mencement of the Seven Years' War.
P A G E ............................... .... .. ....... ...............................50

Dade's Massacre-General Gaines' Raises Volunteers-
Editorial Comment on the Battle-Osceola's In-
fluence-Battle of the Withlacoochee-Osceola
Makes a Prediction-Indians' Spare Their
Friends-Osceola's Humane Policy Regarding the
Women and Children-Treatment of Their Cap-
tives-Opinions of the Florida Press.
P A G E ..................................... ....... .....................................59

Our Troops at Bay-Indians Suffer a Great Defeat-
Strength of the Army-General Jesup's "Gallant"
Achievement-Cessation of Hostilities-A Peace


Treaty-Announcement of the End of the War-
Florida Objects-General Jesup's Mistake-
Seisure of Maroons-General Gaines Defends the
Seminoles' Right to the Maroons.
P A G E ..................... ............................................................70


Capture of King Philip-Seizure and Imprisonment of
Osceola-The Whole Transaction Stripped of Its
Disguises-Public Opinion-General Jesup's De-
fense-Escape of Wildcat.
PAGE ............... ................. .......... ..... .. ...................... ....... 80

A New Project-John Ross-Mediation of the Cherokees
-Seizure of Mickenopah and Others by General
Jesup-Eloquent Appeal of John Ross-General
Jesup's Defense.
P A G E ..................................................................................93

Transfer of Osceola and the Others to Fort Moultrie-
Visitors Flock to See the Famous Chief-Osceola
and Other Chiefs Visit the Theatre-Descriptive
Poem-Suicide of an Indian-George Catlin
Paints the Chiefs' Portraits-Personal Appear-
ance of Osceola in Confinement.
P A G E .................................................................................102


Sickness and Death of Osceola-The Chief's Request-
Physician's Account of His Dying Moments-
Funeral Ceremonies-An Infamous Act-Comr

i. Contents.

ments of the Press and Others Upon Osceola's
Death-Eulogy by Storrow-Street's Graphic
P AG E ........... ........... ............................... .. ................ 109


Transfer of the Prisoners to the West-Death of King
Philip En Route-The Seminole Nation Resolves
on Having Revenge-Descriptions of Lake Okee-
chobee, the Everglades, and the Big Cypress
Swamp-Battle of Okeechobee-Naval Attack
Near Jupiter Inlet-General Jesup Marches
PAGE ............................ .......................................... ..............119


General Jesup Again Negotiates for Peace-Recommends
Allowing the Seminoles to Remain in the Country
-Reply of the Secretary of War-Editorial Op-
position-Seminoles Suspect Treachery-Seizure
of Seven Hundred Indians and Maroons-Officers
Present Describe the "Grab"-Sight Restored to
a Blind Seminole Woman.
P AG E ......... .. ....... ............................................................ 129


General Jesup Retires From Command of the Army-An
Improved Policy Under General Taylor-Over a
Year of Peace-Jesup Volunteers Advice-The
Macomb "Treaty"-End of the War Announced
-Double Dealing Apparent-Florida Press and
People Condemn the Deception.
P A G E ...... ...... ........ ....... ........ ....... ............. ......................140


Seminoles' Discover the Deception-Renewal of Hostili-
ties-Fake Stories of Indian Massacres-Chakika
Leads an Attack-Official Views-The Indian
Always Wrong-False Alarms-White Guerillas
-General Taylor Retires-Failure of Another
Effort-Indian Key Massacre-Hunting Indians
With Bloodhounds-General Worth Succeeds
Armistead-Final Termination of the Seminole
War-A Remnant Allowed to Remain-Number
Transferred to the West-Cost of the War-
Settlers Rush to the Territory.
PAGE .. .................. ...... .................***..1******


Trials of the Emigrants-Seminoles in Mexico-Testi-
mony of the Mexican Government-Death of
Wildcat on Mexican Soil-Mexican Band Returns
to the United States-Nation Appeals to the
President-Settle on Lands of Their Own-Desire
for Schools-Their Uncomplaining Character-
Manly Appeal of Their Agent.
P A G E .............................................................................14** *****164


The Seminole in the Civil War-Borne Upon the Pay-
Rolls of Both Armies-Driven From Their Homes
by Confederates-Enlist in the Union Army-
Engaged in Twenty-Eight Battles-Serve
Throughout the War-Bitter Feeling Between the
Two Factions-Union Seminoles Reimbursed for
Losses-Odd Appearance in Regulation Uniforms.
P A G E .......... .......... ................................ .. ......... 177

,i Contents.


Treaty of 1866-Government's Serious Blunder-General
Grant's New Indian Policy-Present Condition in
the West--Government of the Tribe-Governor
John F. Brown-Seminoles Free From Intruders
-Efforts of the Dawes Commission-Seminoles
and the Commission Sign a New Agreement-
Seminoles First to Embrace Citizenship.
P A G E ........... .....................................................................183



General Worth's Tribute-Murder of Three Whites-
Excitement and Alarm of the Settlers-Capt.
John C. Casey, the Seminoles' Friend-General
Gibbon's Testimony Regarding Indian Agents-
Tribute to Captain Casey-The Bowlegs' Peace
Token-Captain Casey Meets the Indians-Nation
Disavows the Murders-Delivery of the Criminals
-General Twiggs' High Tribute-Suicide of
P A G E .......... .. .. .................................. .............................191


Withdrawal of Troops-Action of the Florida Legisla-
ture-The Blake Scheme-Suicide of an Indian
Woman-Billy Bowlegs Visits Washington and
Other Cities-Blake Secures the Removal of
Captain Casey-Failure of the Blake Scheme-
Cost to the People-Captain Casey Reinstated.
P A G E ................................................................................203

Contents. vii


Two Years of Quiet-Troops Explore Southern Florida-
First Steamboat Navigation of Lake Okeechobee
-General Hostilities Resumed After Thirteen
Years of Peace-Causes of the Outbreak-Opin-
ions of Western Seminoles, Jefferson Davis and
the Indian Commissioner-Last Regular Battle
and Hostilities-Final Emigration, Under Billy
Bowlegs-A Remnant Remains in the Swamps-
Parting Scenes-Tribute of an Army Officer.
P A G E ................................ ...............................................210


The Flower of the Nation-Seminoles Recognized in the
State Constitution-First Attempt to Instruct
Them-Indian Commissioner Advises the Pur-
chase of Lands-Report of the Bureau of Eth-
nology-Character and Superiority-Congress
Appropriates $6,000 for Homesteads-Failure
of the Government Agents-Efforts of the Govern-
ment Cease-Congress Continues to Make Appro-
PAG E ............. .... ..... ................ .............222


Pioneer Work of the Womens' National Indian Associa-
tion-Mrs. Quinton Visits the "Big Cypress" Indi-
ans-Purchase of Land-Mission and Government
Station Established-Donation of Land by the
Florida Legislature-Mission and Government
Work-Visits of the Indians.
P A GE ................................................. ..............................228

iff Contents.


Present Location* and Numbers-Osceola's Namesakes--
"Negro Slaves"-Tribal Government-Super-
iority of the Florida Seminoles-Types of the
Native American-Domestic Life-Common Attire
-Dwellings-Agricultural Products-Successful
Hunters-Source of Revenue-Annual Festival.
PAGE .......*.......................... ..............****................... ..... 288


Seminoles Robbed of Their Homes-Purchase of Lands-
Hon. F. A. Hendy's Bill-Indians Shun the Sta-
tion-The Long Key Proposition-Attack on Dr.
Brecht-Commissioner Jones' Recommendation-
Agent is Called to Washington-Inspector Duncan
Visits the Seminoles-His Glowing Tribute-
Recommends a Reservation-Must be Decided by
Longress-The Cruelty of Any Attempt to Re-
move the Indians-The Author Appeals to Every
Lover of Justice.
PAGE **.... ................ **...........*.... .................................... .249


Osceola Nikkanoochee-The Treaty of Tallahassee-
Treaty of Pope's-List of Battles and Other
Engagements Occuring in Florida During the
Seminole War-Forts afid Posts Established in
PAGE ******........... .. .... ... ..* ... *...........o *..e..... ..** .. ............259


During a long residence in Florida I became deeply
interested in the Seminole Indians, who inhabited the
southern part of the State. I also read everything
within my reach relating to their history, including the
protracted warfare formerly waged between that invin-
cible people and the National, Territorial and State
Circumstances finally enabled me, within the past
few years, to take up my residence in the city of Wash-
ington and to continue my study in the great libraries and
bureaus of information peculiar to the Nation's capital.
And the more widely my researches extended, the more
absorbing became my interest in the subject, and the
firmer my resolve to place upon enduring record the full
story of the rights and wrongs, the true patriotism and
the heroic fortitude of the Seminole race.
Love of home and country was uncommonly devel-
oped in the Seminole people, due no doubt to the genial
climate and great natural resources of their sunny land;
to their peculiar isolation by ocean waters; and to the
presence of the cherished graves of their fathers. All
combined to make the Seminoles' home especially dear-
"-the spot of earth supremely blest,
A dearer, sweeter spot than all the rest."
Thus, hemmed in by the sea on all sides but one-
unable to retreat or to advance-he was compelled to
fight or to submit to banishment. Without the slightest
hesitation, the former alternative was chosen, and an
unequal and atrocious warfare of seven years' duration

2 Preface.

-afterward renewed-took place, at a sacrifice on our
part of hundreds of lives, millions of money, and
repeated violations of solemn pledges.
The latest history of the Seminole War was pub-
lished soon after the termination of hostilities, more
than a half century ago. The present volume has been
written more from the standpoint of the Indian, and
includes much new and interesting information, and the
correction of many erroneous ideas, in connection with
almost every leading feature of Seminole history. New
light has been shed, not only upon the earlier movements
and struggles of this liberty-loving race, but upon
their condition and customs in our present peaceful
times. When the interest of the subject seemed to
justify it, careful detail has been adopted, and in every
part of the work the utmost accuracy has been the great
end and aim.
I cannot resist the conclusion that most of my readers
will gain a better knowledge of the white man's treat-
ment of the Indian, and a more favorable opinion of the
race, than they ever had before, as well as be convinced
with me that the wronged and despised Seminole fought
in no less sacred a cause than did our forefathers in the
days of '76.*
My leading object in thus reviving an interest in
this long neglected people, has been to create public
sentiment in behalf of the deserving remnant still linger-
ing, by sufferance only, in Southern Florida. It is also
the earnest purpose of the author, if the avails of this
work shall justify it, to renovate the lone and neglected
grave of Osceola,-the brightest example of the Semi-
"The annals of this decaying tribe, if written in strict obedience to
the laws of truth, and without prejudice, would place them in a better light
than the one in which most people are disposed to regard them."-Life and
Adventures in South Florida, by Andrew P. Canova, (1885), a native of the
State, who served throughout the last hostilities with the Seminoles.

Preface. 2

nole nation-the unforgotten hero of an earlier day,-
and to substitute for his broken and defaced headstone
a suitable shaft worthy of the humble patriot.
I gratefully acknowledge my obligations to the fol-
lowing named persons: First, to my valued friend Prof.
Charles E. Aaron, of Philadelphia, who has rendered me
invaluable assistance in the preparation of this work;
to Maj. Wm. S. Beebe, late of the Ordnance Department,
U. S. Army, who kindly placed at my disposal old
letters, diaries, and other valuable material, left by his
late uncle, Capt. John C. Casey, prominent in the Semi-
nole War and later as agent among the remnant; to Dr.
J. E. Brecht, for years the zealous agent and Christian
worker among the present Seminoles of Florida; to the
late Gen. John Gibbon, U. S. Army, (retired), whose
favorable impressions of the Indian were firs- re-
ceived in the Everglades; and to many others who
have encouraged me in my undertaking. Nor must I
fail to thank the officials of the various departments and
libraries of Washington, for free access to priceless
volumes and carefully guarded records, without which
this book would have been impossible.
Considerable matter will be found in the appendix,
which could not be inserted in the body of the work;
also a list of the various sources of information which
have been consulted.
Washington, D. C., June, 1898.





A great and powerful confederacy of Indians form-
erly inhabited the present States of Georgia and Ala-
bama. They styled themselves Mus-co-gul-gees, or Mus-
ko-gees, but by the English they were called "Creeks,"
from the numerous small streams which flowed through
their country.
Col. Benjamin Hawkins, a commissioner appointed
by the United States in the year 1785 to negotiate with
the Creeks, and later residing among them many years
as their agent, states that there were thirty-seven towns
in the confederacy, composed of seven-eights Musko.
gees, and the balance Uchees, Natchez, Hitchittees, and
About the beginning of the eighteenth century, a
portion of the Creeks withdrew from the rest and settled
on the extreme outskirts of the confederacy, in the
northern part of Florida. The name they bore for many
years thereafter was isti-se-mo-le,t or "wild men." In
Sketches of the Creek Country in 1798-99. (A manuscript work left
by Colonel Hawkins, published in 1848, thirty-two years after his death.)
Various definitions of the term istisemole have been given, the most
common being "runaway," "wanderer," "separatist," and "emigrant." That
given by the author is according to Colonel Hawkins, the earliest authority,
and is undoubtedly correct.

6 Red Patriots:

after years this term was corrupted to Sim-e-lo-le, Sim-
e-no-le, and finally to Semi-nole. The new comers were
kindly received by the Florida tribes, and as the years
went by their numbers and strength greatly increased,
enabling them to establish settlements over the country.
They finally excited the jealousy of their neighbors, and
a fierce war resulted, in which the Seminoles were the
victors. Those who escaped death joined the new com-
ers and others who had sided with them,* altogether
forming a nation of a heterogeneous nature.
Colonel Hawkins thus refers to the Seminoles, in
his manuscript work:
The towns of the Simenolies deserve a place here,
as they are Creeks. They inhabit the country bordering
on the Gulf of Mexico, from Apalachecola, including
Little St. Johns f and the Florida point. They have
seven towns: Sim-e-no-le-tal-lau-haf-see, Mic-co-soo-ce,
We cho took me, Au-lot-che-wau, Oc-le-wau-hau-
thluc co, Tal-lau-gue-chahco-pop-cau, Cull oo- sau -
hatche. They are called wild people, because they
left their old towns and made irregular settlements in
this country to which they were invited by the plenty
of game, the mildness of the climate, the richness of the
soil, and the abundance of food for cattle and horses."
Most writers in referring to the Creek offshoot,
claim that their departure from the others was owing to
serious tribal quarrels. This common statement is
plainly an error, for Colonel Hawkins does not once
mention this as being a cause of removal. The reason
assigned by him, as above quoted, seems to be the most
rational, and is undoubtedly the true one. From the
Territory of Florida, John Lee Williams, 1837. The author of this
Work had resided in Florida for many years. See also General Jackson's
statement, Am. State Papers, Vol. 2, Indian Affairs.
+ Suwanee River.
$ The peninsula part of the country.

The Story of the Seminoles. 7

time that the Seminoles first renounced all allegiance to
the Creek nation, however, trouble ensued. But an
open rupture did not take place for many years, not-
withstanding the length of time that the offshoot had
been living by themselves. As late as 1790 they were
recognized as part of the Creek confederacy in a treaty
between that nation and the United States, signed in
New York City, August 7th, of that year; and, as we
have seen, Colonel Hawkins so regarded them nine years
In September 1821, General Jackson held a talk
with Neamathla, the principal chief of the nation, John
Hicks, and Mulatto King, in which the former chief,
through an interpreter, gave the names and locations of
all the Indian (Seminole) towns in Florida. The whole
number,including both East and West Florida,* was thir-
ty-seven towns, with a total population of about 5,000.f
A few months later, Capt. John R. Bell, acting-agent
for the Indians, reported the same number of souls in
the nation. In 1823, General James Gadsden wrote
the Secretary of War that these Indians are now
scattered over the whole face of Florida." When the
offshoot first withdrew from the Creeks they were under
the leadership of a chief named Sac-a-fa-ca, erroneously
referred to by other writers as Seacoffee," or "Se-
coffer." In 1750, this chief was living in what is now
called Alachua County, where he died at the age of
seventy years. The Spanish Governor of St. Augus-
tine alluded to the friendly character of Sacafaca in
Under British rule the territory was divided into two provinces
called East and West Florida, the peninsula portion representing the former.
+ Am. State Papers, Vol. II, Indian Affairs, p. 489.
1 In a letter to Hon. John Floyd, House of Representatives.
$ Reference to "Secoffer," in a private diary of Judge Robert R. Reid
afterward Governor of Florida. Bench and Bar of Georgia, Miller, 1868.

8 Red Patriots:

1787, in a correspondence with the Governor of Cuba,
thus proving that the Seminoles were then living in
Florida,* and that they were friendly toward the
That the Seminoles were also on good terms with
the British, while Florida was in possession of the latter,
the earnest words of a writer of that period are worthy
of note. In considering "by what means England may
render Florida useful to her," he suggests "intermar-
riage with the Indian families."
It is probable that peaceful relations had been en-
joyed by all the inhabitants for a long period of time,
as indicated by a report of Captain Bell to the Secretary
of War, in 1822, that this nation was, before, the
destruction of their settlements in 1812, numerous,
proud and wealthy, possessing great numbers of cattle,
horses, and slaves."
Captain Bell had previously reported:
"They are honest, speak the truth, and are attach-
ed to the British and Americans. The wars, however, of
McIntosh (a Creek chief) and the late desolating war
with the United States, and depredations of the frontier
white settlers on their settlements, have destroyed their
confidence. The pure-blood Seminole Indians are
about 1,200 in number. They hunt from Novem-
ber to March. Their hunting grounds are north of
twenty-eight degrees north latitude. Their principal
game is deer. Their cattle, on which they formerly
subsisted, have been wantonly destroyed. .. The ne-
groes who dwell among these people as their slaves, are

Corroborated by a statement of General Jackson in 1821, that the
Seminoles had been living in Florida for a hundred years. (Am. State Papers
Vol. II, Indian Affairs, p. 438.) Bartram, writing in 1773, says they emigrated
to Florida in 1710.
+ Raynal's History, 1782, Vol. VI.

The Story of the Seminoles. 9

intelligent and speak the English language, having been
purchased from the English.*"
Rev. Jedidiah Morse, a United States' Commission-
er appointed in 1820 to investigate the condition of
various Indian tribes, thus corroborates the above:
Before the wars of 1812 and since, these Indians
with their negro slaves, lived in comfort, and many of
them were wealthy in cattle and horses. But these
wars have broken them up, destroyed great numbers of
their bravest warriors and chiefs; also their villages and
cattle, and thrown them into a state most distressing
and pitiable." t

Am. State Papers, Vol. II, Indian Affaire.
+ Report to the Secretary of War, Morse, 1822.



Compared with the long, desperate and decisive
struggle generally known as the Seminole or Florida
War, the first hostilities with the Seminoles were only a
series of assaults, in which our race was, with few excep-
tions, the aggressor. The trouble occurred while Flori-
da was still a province of Spain, at intervals during the
years 1812, 1816, 1817 and 1818. It is not the author's
intention to dwell on the details of the first hostilities;
but the several causes which led up to them, also a few
of the more important incidents connected therewith,
will receive due notice in this chapter.
In the year 1812, the Seminoles were charged with
committing depredations along the southern frontier
of Georgia. The white settlers, as usual, disregarded
the fact that these forays were almost invariably in
retaliation for similar acts against the red men.* In
The famous Kit Carson, mcont and Indian agent, who knew the Indian
and his ways thoroughly, truly said that "all our Indian troubles were caused
originally by bad white men, if the truth were known;" also that Indians
rarely commit outrages unless they are first provoked to them by the border
whites."-Life of Kit Carson, Ellis.

The Story of the Seminoles. 11

September of the above year, a party of Georgia volun-
teers, headed by Colonel Nunen, marched to King
Payne's town, situated in what is now called Alachua
County, where they attacked a party of about one hun-
dred and fifty Indians, under King Payne and Bowlegs,
two of the most prominent chiefs in the nation at that
time. A long engagement ensued, during which the
Indians sustained a considerable loss, and were finally
defeated. King Payne, who, with Bowlegs, was a son of
the celebrated Sacafaca, was among the killed.
About the same period, Florida was invaded by a
Creek chief named McIntosh, also by a misguided gath-
ering of men known to history as the Florida
Revolutionists, or so-called ''Patriots." It is a curious
coincidence that both of these invasions of Spanish ter-
ritory were commanded by men-one Indian, the other
white-who bore the same name. The Creek chief,
with a band of his followers, waged damaging wars, at
different times, on both Indians and whites. Of the
"Patriot" war, J. A. Peniere, f the first United States'
agent for the Florida Indians, reported to the Secretary
of War in 1821, from Picolata, as follows:
Seven years ago some self-styled patriots commit-
ted great ravages among the Europeans and friendly
Indians, in this part of Fbrida. Almost all the houses
were burnt; the domestic animals killed, and the slaves
carried off."
In a correspondence between the Spanish Governor
of St. Augustine and the Governor of Georgia, in De-
cember 1812, the former thus refers to some of the ex-
These"'fanatics.'residing principally in southern Georgia, had orga-
nized for the purpose of,capturing Florida from the Spaniards and Indians.
The United States Government sent word to the Governor of St. Augustine
that the invasion was unauthorized.
t This,highly respected gentleman died in the summer of 1821. He was
a Frenchman, educated and refined, and was deeply attached to the

12 Red Patriots:

citing causes of the Indian outbreaks, and to the leading
object of the invasion of the whites :
But the Indians, you say-well, sir, why
wantonly provoke the Indians, if you dislike their rifle
and tomahawk? General Matthews told Payne, in the
square of Latchuo, that he intended to drive him from
his lands. McIntosh* sent a message to Bowlegs, another
Indian chief, that he intended to make him as a waiting
man; the Florida Convention (Patriots) partitioned
their (the Indians') lands amongst their volunteers, as
appears by a certificate in my possession signed by di-
rector McIntosh; the Indian trade was destroyed by
you and your friends, and they (the Indians) found
that, from the same cause, they were to be deprived of
their annual presents. These, sir, are the provocations
about which you are silent. The Indians are to
be insulted, threatened, and driven from their homes; if
they resist, nothing less than extermination is to be
their fate. But you deceive yourself, sir, if you think
the world is blind to your motives; it is not long since
the State of Georgia had a slice of Indian lands, and
the fever is again at its height. .
David B. Mitchell, twice Governor of Georgia, and
afterward (1817) Indian Agent, thus testified, regarding
the origin of the next trouble with the Seminoles, before
a committee of the United States Senate appointed in
1818 to investigate the advance of the United States'
troops into West Florida," &c.:
The peace of the frontier of Georgia has always
been exposed and disturbed more or less by acts of vio-
lence committed by whites as well as by Indians. .
These acts were increased by a set of lawless and

Reference was had to General George Matthews and John H. Mcln-
tosh, leaders of the revolutionists.

The Story of the Seminoles. 18

abandoned characters (whites), who had taken refuge
on both sides of the St. Mary's River, and living princi-
pally by plunder. I believe the first outrage com-
mitted on the frontier of Georgia, after the treaty of
Fort Jackson (1814), was by a party of these banditti,
who plundered a party of Seminole Indians on their way
to Georgia for the purpose of trade, killing one of them.
This produced retaliation on the part of the Indians."*
Another factor, by some believed to be the primary
cause of all the serious trouble that followed, was the
determined refusal on the part of the Seminoles to de-
liver up the negro slaves who had fled from their mas-
ters in States north of the Florida line and taken
refuge among the Indians.
There was still another cause, however. White
residents in Georgia, becoming bold from the peaceful
character of the Seminoles, crossed the boundary and
settled upon their lands. A leading chief sent repeated
notices to the trespassers that unless they departed
there would be bloodshed. No heed was given to these
warnings; on the contrary other settlers continued to ar-
rive. The appropriation of the Indians' lands became
so common, that Peter Early, Governor, and Command-
er-in-Chief of the arn.y and navy of Georgia, fearing
trouble, finally issued the following proclamation, dated
Milledgeville, April 25th, 1814:
Whereas, I have received repeated information
that divers persons, citizens of this State, are making
settlements on the Indian lands contiguous to our fron-
tier by clearing ground and preparing to raise crops
thereon. And whereas, such trespasses, in addition to
the severe punishment annexed to them, are at this time
peculiarly improper, I have therefore thought fit to issue
Contained in the Committee's report.

14 Red Patriots:

this proclamation warning all persons against persever-
ance in or repetition of such unwarrantable procedures.
And do hereby require all persons, citizens of this
State, who have made any settlement on the Indian
lands, forthwith to abandon the same. .. "
The Seminoles continued to be harassed, however, and
finally took the law into their own hands.* For this,
they were loudly denounced, as usual, and in this way
the attention of the United States Government was se-
cured. Instead of striking at the primary cause of this
particular trouble, the latter perpetrated one of the most
savage massacres against the Seminoles and their negro
allies, of which any civilized or uncivilized people have
ever been guilty.
Before giving an account of this wanton destruction
of human life, it seems an appropriate place to notice
the negroes who lived among the Indians. These people
formed two distinct classes: the Maroons, and the more
recent fugitive slaves. The former had been living with
the Seminoles for so long a period that, although they
had once been runaway slaves from Georgia and Ala-
bama, or were descended from such, their identity had
now become completely lost.t The title, "Maroons,"
a Spanish word of West Indian origin, signifying "free
negroes," had been appropriately applied to them by
the Spanish settlers in Florida. By the Indian agents
and officers of our army they were usually referred to as
"Indian negroes," or "Maroon negroes," while all others
were called "slaves" or "runaway slaves."
Article VI of a treaty between the United States and the Creek na-
tion, signed in the city of New York, Aug. 7th, 1790, states that trespassers
on the Indians' lands "shall forfeit the protection of the United States, and
the Creeks may punish him or not, as they please." Had the same law ap-
plied to the Seminoles and other tribes throughout the United States, in after
years, millions of money and thousands of lives would have escaped sacri-
t Ex. Doc. 195, 2d Ses., 17th Cong. Also Ex. Doc. 1st Sea., 24th Cong.

The Story of the Seminoles. 15

The Maroons were thoroughly established among the
Seminoles, had in a few cases intermarried with them,
and were regarded more as brethren and allies. Most
of them, however, were still held by the Indians in a
mild form of servitude. Their happy and contented
condition formed a striking contrast to the hard life of
unrequited toil which was the usual lot of slaves under
white overseers. J. A. Peniere, Indian agent, thus re-
ferred to these negroes in the year 1821:
These negroes appeared to me to be far more intel-
ligent than those who are in absolute slavery, and have
great influence over the Indians. . Their number
is said to be upwards of three hundred. They fear
being again made slaves, under the American Govern-
In the same connection, a staff officer of General
Gaines says:
"His life among the Indians is one, compared to
that of negroes under overseers, of luxury and ease; the
demands upon him are very trifling. The Indian
loves his negro as much as one of his own children."*
This humane treatment of their slaves is in accord
with the quiet domestic disposition and prevailing
agricultural habits of the Seminoles, thus strongly con-
trasted with most of the Indian tribes.
The Seminoles positively refused to give up the
Maroons, who had so long been their faithful allies, or
even to assist in the capture of the runaway slaves. From
this latter resolution, however, they receded, years
afterward, as we shall see, for the sake of peace. The
slave-catchers from adjoining States made extended
forays across the Spanish lines into the Indian country,
and in these expeditions frequently seized the Indians'
War in Florida, 1836.

16 Red Patriots:

slaves as well as the fugitives for whom they were in
pursuit. The slave-hunters also robbed a number of the
Spanish settlers in Florida, carrying off their negroes
and other property. Claims for indemnity for the loss
of these latter slaves were before Congress as late as
The Spanish Governors of the province of Florida
recognized both the Maroons and the fugitive slaves as
subjects of the Spanish crown, entitled to the same pro-
tection as the white citizens and Indians. Therefore,
when the colonial government of South Carolina sent a
messenger, in 1738, to demand a return of the fugitives,
the Governor not only refused to deliver them up, but
proclaimed protection and liberty to all such as would
join his standard.* In 1742 the numbers of Maroons
and fugitive slaves in Florida were so great that they
were formed into military companies, officered by negroes
adorned with gold lace, bearing the same rank as those
commanding white companies.f
We will now take up the thread of our story. In
the latter part of the year 1814, the British erected a
fort on the left bank of the Apalachicola River, about
twenty-five miles above its bay. On their departure from
the country, they turned the fort over to the Indians
and negroes of the neighborhood. From the official
report of Col. Duncan L. Clinch, who took a prominent
part in the assault on this fortress, we extract the fol-
lowing description:
The parapet was about fifteen feet high and
eighteen feet thick, and defended by one 32, three 24s,
two 9s, two 6s, and an elegant 5 1-2 inch howitzer. It
was situated on a beautiful and commanding bluff, with
History of South Carolina, Vol II, Ramsey, 1858.
+ Trumbull's History of the United States, 1810.

The Story of the Seminoles. 17

the river in front, a large creek just below, a swamp in
the rear, a small creek just above, which rendered it diffi-
cult to be approached by artillery. .."
In an official report to the War Department under
date of May 14th, 1815, Gen. E. P. Gaines, then com-
manding the army on the frontier of Georgia, first
speaks of this fortress, referring to it as "Negro Fort,"*
and stating that while the occupants were charged with
no crimes, he would keep a watch on their movements.
A year later plans were formed for attacking the fort,
although it was on Spanish soil, about fifty miles from
the United States line. On the 16th of May 1816, Gen.
Andrew Jackson, commander of the Southern Military
District, wrote General Gaines as follows:
"I have little doubt of the fact that this fort has
been established by some villains for the purpose of ra-
pine and plunder, and that it ought to be blown up
regardless of the ground on which it stands; and if your
mind shall have formed the same conclusion, destroy it
and return the stolen negroes and property to their
rightful owners."
General Gaines also received the following instruc-
tions from the Secretary of War:
"On receipt of this letter, should the Seminole In-
dians still refuse reparation for their outrages and dep-
redations on the citizens of the United States, it is the
wish of the President that you consider yourself at lib-
erty to march across the Florida line and to attack them
within its limits, should it be found necessary, unless
they should shelter themselves under a Spanish post."t
In July 1816, General Gaines advanced to the attack
upon the fort. His command consisted of a regiment of
Fort Gadsden was afterward established on the site.
t House Doc. 122, 15th Cong., 2d Ses. Vol. 6.

18 Red Patriots:

regulars, under Col. Duncan L. Clinch, and five hundred
Creek Indians. The latter had been secured by promis-
es "that they should share in the plunder."* Two
18-pound cannon formed part of the equipment. Gun-
boats had previously been detailed and sent to Apalach-
icola Bay, via the Gulf. The land forces arrived at the
place on the 20th of July, and the gunboats a few days
The Indians and Maroons had received intelligence
of the proposed attack, and those living in the settle-
ments near by, and in the surrounding country, repaired
to the fortress with their families. The cultivated fields
of the Indians and negroes "extended fifty miles up the
river." '
Returning to the official report of General Clinch,
that officer says:
i I ordered Major McIntosh to keep one-third
of his men constantly hovering around the fort, (on the
20th), and to keep up an irregular fire. On the 24th,
I ordered Lieutenant Wilson to descend the river with
a small party, to assist in getting up the vessels, and to
inform the commanding officer that the fort was com-
pletely surrounded and that he might ascend the river
in safety. On the 26th I went on board gun-vessel 149,
about four miles below the fort. In the course of the
evening, after consulting with the commanding officer
of the convoy, I directed him to move up the two gun-
vessels at daylight next morning. About six o'clock in
the morning they came up in handsome style, and made
fast alongside of the intended battery.
"In a few moments we received a shot from a
82 pounder, which was returned in a gallant manner.
Official statement of Sailing-Master Loomis, in charge of the fun.
boats used on the occasion.
f View of West Florida, John Lee Williams, 1827,

The Story of the Seminoles. 19

The contest was momentary. The fifth discharge (a
hot shot) from gun-vessel No. 151, commanded by sail-
ing-master Basset, entered the magazine and blew up
the fort. The explosion was awful, and the scene hor-
rible beyond description. Onr first care on arriving at
the scene of destruction was to rescue and relieve the
unfortunate beings that had survived the explosion.
The war yells of the Indians, the cries and lamen-
tations of the wounded, compelled the soldier to pause
in the midst of victory, to drop a tear for the sufferings
of his fellow beings, and to acknowledge that the great
Ruler of the Universe must have used us as instruments
(!) in chastising the blood-thirsty and murderous
wretches that defended the fort."

The waves a moment backward bent--
The hills that shake, although unrent,
As if an earthquake passed-
The thousand shapeless things are driven
In cloud and flame athwart the heaven,
By that tremendous blast."
The property taken and destroyed," continues
General Clinch, "could not have amounted to less than
$200,000. From the best information I could obtain,
there was in the fort about three thousand stand of
arms, from five hundred to six hundred barrels of pow-
der, and a great quantity of fixed ammunition, shot,
shells, etc. One magazine, containing one hundred and
sixty-three barrels of powder, was saved, which was a
valuable prize to the Indians. The greater part of
the negroes belonged to the Spaniards and Indians. ."
The Spanish Governor demanded the property saved,
but the United States refused to give it up, and Spain
not being in a position to enforce compliance with her
demand, was obliged to submit.
After the occurrence of this horrible massacre, the


20 Red Patriots:

border whites grew still more rapacious, and the red
men suffered accordingly. Referring to one of the
numerous depredations against them, Niles Register,
April 12th, 1817, says: "The Seminole Indians, we are
assured from high authority, have been plundered and
one or two of them murdered." Another authority thus
feelingly speaks in their behalf: "We believe they have
been more 'sinned against than sinning;' and that if the
truth was known it would appear that there never was
a more oppressed race of men."
Again the Seminoles, unable to restrain their savage
passions longer, tasted the revenge so dear to the Indian
heart. A detachment of forty soldiers, together with
seven women and children, were ascending the Apalach-
icola River in a transport, when a large band of Indians
and Maroons attacked them and killed all but six per-
sons, four of whom were wounded. Other engagements
followed, and our Government once more invaded Flor-
ida in pursuit of the Indians, and against the Spanish
posts, which latter it was claimed furnished the red
men with ammunition.
It must not be supposed that these invasions were
made without at least a protest from the Spaniards.
Their Government, through Don Jose Masot, Governor
of Pensacola, protested to General Jackson in the fol-
lowing terms:
"It having come to my knowledge that you have
passed the frontier with the troops under your command,
and that you are within the territory of this province
of West Florida, which is subject to my Government, I
solemnly protest against this procedure as an offense
against my sovereign, exhorting you and requiring you,
in his name, to retire from it; as, if you do not, and

The Story of the Seminoles. 21

continue your aggressions, I shall repel force by
force. .. *
On the 6th of April, 1818,-soon after the above
protest,-General Jackson again invaded Florida, and
captured the fortress of St. Marks from the Spaniards.
There was nothing to justify this hostile act against a
friendly nation, and our Government disavowed it by
immediately restoring the captured fort. The attack
seemed to have been made solely in a spirit of
While at St. Marks, an act of barbarism was com-
mitted, with the approval of General Jackson, which
indelibly stains the annals of our country. General
Jackson had ordered Captain McEver, commander of
the naval forces in the Gulf, to cruise along the coast
and capture and make prisoners of all persons, together
with all vessels, of whatever description. A friendly
flag (British) was raised by Captain McEver, and by
this means four Seminoles-two of the number being
chiefs-were decoyed on board his vessel. They were
afterward taken ashore and hanged in cold blood. The
victims of this act of treachery and perfidy were on neu-
tral soil,and not in arms against us, nor were they
charged with any crimes; they were murdered merely
as "an example,"f as stated by General Jackson.
On the day following the above incident, General
Jackson, in command of a large body of troops, com-
menced a march to the Indian settlements on the Suwa-
nee River, where the last assaults of the so-called war
were made by burning several Indian villages. A large
number of women and children were captured, together
with cattle and ponies. Scarcely any resistance was
made by the Indians.
Am. State Papers, Military Affairs, Vol. I.
t Letter of General Jackson, Niles Register, June 18, 1818.

22 Red Patriots:

Our army was now withdrawn and peace was at
once restored. Several hundred lives-nearly all In-
dians and negroes-and a large amount of money had
been sacrificed, while an established law of nations, as
well as our Constitution, had been repeatedly violated
and a friendly power subjected to gross indignities.
The President and General Jackson were severely
criticised by the American people and others, for the
invasions of Spanish territory, and for the wholesale
bloodshed and destruction which followed. So great
was the feeling against the last operations in Florida,
which had been commenced and carried on by the Gen-
eral without previous authority, that an investigation
was authorized by Congress in 1818, as before referred
to. Each house reported by committee, censuring that
officer. The Senate report was especially severe, among
other things saying that "the weakness of the Spanish
authorities is urged in justification of this outrage upon
our Constitution."
After the appearance of the Congressional report,
"A citizen of the State of Tennessee" published a
volume of over one hundred pages, entitled, A Vindi-
cation of the Measures of the President and his Com-
manding Generals in the Commencement and Termina-
tion of the Seminole War."
A curious circumstance occurred in the fall of 1819,
as a result of the severe treatment received by the Semi-
noles at the hands of the frontier settlers. On the 29th of
September in the above year, a party of twenty-eight
Seminoles arrived at Nassau, N. P., in a wrecking
vessel from the coast of Florida, for the purpose of
seeking assistance from the commander-in-chief of the
British troops, stationed on the island. The exiles were
entirely destitute, and said they had been robbed and

The Story of the Seminoles. 28

driven from their homes. They were furnished with
rations and lodgings at the barracks, to relieve their
immediate distress.* The author is unable to learn
what became of this party.
Bahama Advertiser, Oct. 2d, 1819.



Seventeen years elapsed after the close of General
Jackson's invasions, before open warfare again took
place. Before considering some of the events which
preceded and influenced the return to arms, it is appro-
priate to notice the principal chiefs and head-men of the
Seminole nation. We subjoin the full Indian names of
the more conspicuous men, with their English definitions
where known.*
The nation was divided into towns, as before men-
tioned, located in various parts of the country. Each
town was presided over by a head chief, but there was
one principal chief over all. The man who occupied this
responsible position, as early as 1820, was named Nea-
mathla, and he resided in West Florida. This chief was
a remarkable character, and deserves more than passing
notice in these pages.
Colonel Gad Humphreys, who was appointed agent
for the Seminoles in 1822,-not long after the death of
Mr. Peniere,-thus speaks of Nea-mathla, in a letter
According to the earliest authorities, treaties, official and private
letters of Indian agents and others.

The Story of the Seminoles. 25

written in April, 1824, to Wm. P. Duval, Governor of
the Territory:
The promptitude with which Neamathla has uni-
formly, since the war, punished the offences of his
people, particularly those against the white inhabitants
of the country, has excited in the Indians an awe and
respect for his character, and gives him unbounded
influence over them, and, at the same time, furnishes the
surest proof of the strength of his desire to be on terms
of amity with the United States." *
Later in the same month, Governor Duval wrote the
Secretary of Wair regarding this chief, as follows:
Neamathla is a most uncommon man; This
chief you will find, perhaps, the greatest man you have
ever seen among the Indians. He can, if he chooses to
do so, control his warriors with as much ease as a colonel
could a regiment of regular soldiers; they love and fear
him The hospitality and manly feelings of this
chief have always kept him in poverty This chief
should be seen by you and then you can judge of the
force and energy of his mind and character."
The leading chiefs under Neamathla were: John
Hicks, Mulatto King, John Blunt, Cochran, Emath-lo-
chee, E-con-chatti-mico, and Tus-ki-hajo. Neamathla
was succeeded by John Hicks in 1825, and the latter by
Mick-e-no-pah (meaning a king over a king), some time
previous to 1832. Mickenopah was the owner of quite
a large number of slaves, also immense herds of cattle
and ponies. George Catlin, the celebrated artist in
Indian portraiture, who visited the Seminoles on two
different occasions, describes him as a very lusty and
dignified man." His complexion was very dark, indicat-
Am. State Papers, Vol. II, Indian Affairs, pp. 616-17.
At the time this letter was written, Neamathla was contemplating a
visit to Washington, but the trip was finally given up.

26 Red Patriots:

ing the presence of Yamasee or negro blood in his veins.
The present town of Micanopy, Fla., preserves the name
of this warrior; in fact it was so-called long before the
seven years war, when Mickenopah himself occupied the
neighborhood with his followers.
The second chief under Mickenopah was Emathla,
or King Philip, as he was more commonly called. On
account of his advanced years he took only occasional
active part in the war. The other chiefs at this period
who became distinguished in one way or another, were
as follows:
Os-ce-o-la, or Rising Sun; Co-ee-hajo, or Hal-pat-ter
Tus-te-nug-gee, Alligator; Ye-ho-lo-gee, The Cloud;
Ho-lata-amathla, Jumper; Coo-e-coo-chee, or Co-wot-go-
chee, Wildcat; Thlock-lo Tustenuggee, Tiger Tail;
Charley Amathla; Ho-lata-mico, Blue King, more gen-
erally known as Billy Bowlegs; Ar-pe-i-ka, Sam Jones;
O-tal-ke-thlocko, The Prophet; Cha-ki-ka; Waxy-hajo;
Halleck Tustenuggee; Ya-ha-hajo, Mad Wolf; Hal-pa-
too-chee, and Ya-ho-la-hajo.
Wildcat was the son of King Philip. On the death
of Osceola he became the recognized leader of the war
party, and retained that distinction until he was trans-
ferred to Arkansas. Billy Bowlegs was a nephew of
Mickenopah; he possessed great influence in the last
hostilities (1855-58), and could speak English quite
well. His paternal ancestor was formerly called
"Boleck," but the whites soon corrupted this to Bow-
Like the great Northwestern chief Black Hawk, and
many other noted chiefs, Osceola had more than one
name. His common name in the nation was As-se-ola,
and this was pronounced in different ways, as follows:
Yo-se-ola, As-se-he-ho-la, and Yo-se-ya-ho-la, by the

I' __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ _

112,4 and 5 are from paintings by Catlin, in the Smithsonian Museum, Washington, D. Ce

The Story of the Seminoles. 27

Indians and Os-ce-o-la, or O-ce-o-la, by the whites. It
is said that one of his names signified the "Black
Drink," a dark-colored decoction of herbs, used freely
by the Seminoles before important events, with the belief
that it purified and invigorated the mind and body.*
But the name by which he was commonly known signi-
fied "Rising Sun," according to the interpreters and to
several of the army officers. The author of a little work
relating to this famous Indian, states that he was also
known as "The Sun," or "The Young Sun." f
It was a custom with certain Indian tribes, at the
moment when a child was born among them, for the
father or a medicine man present, to look out of the
wigwam and to give the new-born infant the name of
the first object, or impression, which happened to attract
his notice. If, looking upward, he chanced to see a
cloud driven before the wind, the child would receive
the name Flying Cloud." If the cry of a coyote hap-
pened to strike the ear, the name "Coyote or "Howl-
ing Wolf was given.
While the author has no positive knowledge that
this custom was practiced by the Seminoles, still, in the
case now under consideration, we may imagine that the
infant first saw the light just as the sun was about to
appear in the east, and therefore received the musical
and auspicious name, "Osceola." If so, it was a most
appropriate omen, for the babe then ushered into the
world grew to be the brighest light of his nation, as well
as one of the most world-famous of our American
To many of the whites Osceola was also known by
the name of "Powell," and was believed to be the son
Still used by the Florida Seminoles, at their annual Green Corn
+ Osceola, By a Southerner, 1888.

28 Red Patriots:

of an English trader by that name. This was an error,
however, perpetuated to the present day. The idea no
doubt originated from the fact that an English trader by
that name married Osceola's mother after the death of
the boy's father.* Osceola himself repeatedly and
scornfully repudiated the name "Powell." On one occa-
sion he said to an army officer, in this connection: No
foreign blood runs in my veins; I am a pure-blood
Muskogee." His own declarations were supported by
those of other Indians, and many whites, who were well
acquainted with him and his birthplace.
Dr. Welsh, an Englishman residing near Jackson-
ville at the time of Osceola's capture, became very much
interested in the young chief. After returning to
England, in July, 1841, this gentleman published a very
interesting book, relating to his sojourn in America,
part of which was devoted to Osceola's life.t In it he
Judging from all I have been able to learn of the
chief Osceola, from respectable white men who knew
him from childhood, he was undoubtedly a thoroughbred
George Catlin, than whom no man living or dead is
more competent to give an opinion on this point, says:
"All his conversation is entirely in his own tongue;
and his general appearance and actions those of a full-
blood and wild Indian." I
A Florida editor, in an article entitled, The Indian
Chief Powell," also agrees with the authorities above
quoted, as follows:
It is proper to observe that he ought not to be
Indian Tribes of the United States, McKinney & Hall, 1844.
+ Osceola Nikkanochee, London, 1844. (See Appendix.)
1 Eight Years' Travel Among the North American Indians, London,

The Story of the Seminoles. 29

called Powell, as that is only a nickname. His Indian
name is Osceola, and by that he should be distin-
guished." *
In the official dispatches of the day this chief was
usually referred to as "Powell," sometimes Osceola or
Powell;" and the cyclopedias and other works of the
present time fall into the common error and declare in
positive terms that Osceola was the half-blood son of an
Englishman. If, however, we have established our
position, we may safely infer that whatever intelligence
and skill, or mercy and magnanimity this famous war-
rior possessed, was not due to the presence of a drop of
white man's blood in his veins.
Osceola was born on the Chattahoochee River, in
the State of Georgia, in the year 1804. After his
father's death, his mother moved to Florida in 1808,
and settled near the present site of Ocala, Marion
County. As a youth, many testify to the fact that
Osceola was a great favorite with his tribe, being un-
commonly bright, accomplished and energetic. "Cudjoe,"
who was interpreter to our army for several years, and
who had known Osceola from his childhood, said he was
a very active youth, excelling in the chase, in running,
leaping, ball-playing, and other Indian exercises.
When he attained manhood, his appearance was
very prepossessing. He was of medium, height, with a
superb figure and a graceful elastic step. His black hair,
as in after life, hung in tresses about his face, which
was rendered attractive by a high, full forehead, large,
luminous eyes, and a small, well-shaped mouth express-
ing indomitable firmness.
Army officers often spoke of Osceola's voice as
being remarkably clear, shrill and far reaching. In
SBSt. Augustine Herald, Jan. 13th, 1886.

80 Red Patriots:

battle he was frequently heard above all others, urging
his warriors on, or exhorting them to remain firm. The
dreaded Seminole war-cry, Yo-ho-e-hee," sounded
from his lips, left a lasting impression on the memory of
those who heard it.
Osceola evinced great pride of character, joined
with no small share of self-esteem and vanity. He
dressed with care and neatness, and decorated his per-
son with a number of ornaments, chief among which
was an ever-present plume of black and white ostrich
feathers, doubtless purchased from some trader. In his
intercourse with strangers he was reserved, but with
those whom he believed to be his friends he often talked
freely, though always through an interpreter.
Up to within a short period of the war, Osceola
lived near Fort King, Marion County. When he first
became known to the army officers at the fort, one of
them said, "His deportment and appearance were such
as to point him out as a person likely to become promi-
nent." Another officer at the same fort thus paid him a
higher tribute:
"He visited the fort frequently, and his services
were always at the command of the officers to suppress
the depredations of those lawless Indians who would
sometimes cross the frontier to plunder." The same
officer says that Osceola was continually engaged in
some service, and that he became a favorite with many
of the inmates of the fort.
Facts like these, and others to follow, clearly prove
that Osceola was actuated by a sincere desire to deal
justly by the whites and to live on friendly terms with
them. Nor can we resist the conclusion that by this
distinguished course he was entitled to very different
treatment at their hands from that which he afterward

The Story of the Seminoles. 81

No great time was suffered to elapse after the close of
hostilities in 1818, before Southern statesmen, in the
interest of slave-owners and those who coveted the
lands, began to advocate the purchase of Florida from
Spain. One object of this was to deprive the Indians
and negroes of the protection of Spanish law and to
bring them under our own jurisdiction. The result
was, that partly by treaty and partly by force and
threats, Florida was finally ceded to the United States, for
the sum of $5,000,000. As soon as the transfer of the
territory became known to the Indian slaves and the
free negroes about St. Augustine, many of the former
and most of the latter transported themselves to Ha-
The treaty of cession, however, did not mention the
particular rights of the Indians with respect to that
portion of the territory which they had occupied and
controlled for so long a period. This omission was soon
discovered by the Seminoles, through their interpreters,
and it caused them no little alarm. They finally for-
warded a paper to St. Augustine for transmittal to the
President, in which they complained that the treaty
had been made without any notice of their claims or
stipulations as to their rights, and requested to be
informed of the views of the executive on these points.
Referring to their need of a larger territory than the
white people, and their ancient right to the soil, the
paper read:
"The Americans live in towns, where many thous-
and people busy themselves within a small space of
ground, but the Seminole is of a wild and scattered
race; he swims the streams, and leaps over the logs of
the wide forest in pursuit of game, and is like the
Strou4d' Skeothes.

82 Red Patriots:

whooping crane that makes its nest at night far from
the spot where it dashed the dew from the grass and
flower in the morning. A hundred summers have seen
the Seminole warrior reposing undisturbed,under the
shade of his live oak, and the suns of a hundred winters
have risen on his ardent pursuit of the buck and the
bear, with none to question his bounds or dispute his
A correspondent, writing from St. Augustine in
September 1821, thus refers to the eloquence of the Sem-
inole in the above letter:
"I had hitherto supposed with many others that
the Indians were in general much indebted to the trans-
lators of their talks, but this does not appear to be the
case in the present instance. I conversed with the
gentleman who took down the letter from the mouth of
the interpreter, and he informed me that he had given
it verbatim as he had received it." *
The exchange of flags between the Spaniards and
Americans took place in July, 1821. Under dates of
September 2d and 17th, General Jackson, the newly
appointed Governor, wrote the Secretary of War re-
garding the Indians, in which he assumed that the red
men had no claim to Florida lands. In his first letter
he says, "With a little trouble and expense, all the
Indians in the Floridas could be removed up into the
Creek nation (in Georgia), and at once consolida-
ted with them. ." In his letter of the 17th, he thus
refers to the same subject:
"The greater part of the Indians now in the Flor-
idas consist of those who fled in the manner above
mentioned; and why should we hesitate to order them
up at once, when the Executive Government, with the
Gazette, Charleston, 8. C.

The Story of the Seminoles. 88

aid of Congress, can do ample justice, by law, if neces-
sary, to those who deserve it, by giving such equivalent
as will enable them to settle their families in the upper
country, and to cultivate their farms. Unless the In-
dians be consolidated at one point, where is the country
that can be brought into market, from which the five
millions are to be raised, to meet the claims of our citi-
zens under the late treaty with Spain?" *
In order to justify his position, the General assumes
that the Seminoles had no right to Florida soil because
they had "fled," as he says, from the Creeks. The
reader already knows the true reason for the emigra-
tion; also for how long a period the offshoot had retain-
ed possession of their adopted country, after they had
first secured control by conquest, according to their
custom. But the last sentence in the foregoing quota-
tion is the most significant, as indicating the real object
of the proposition at this and later periods, for removing
the Indians to another country. The ejection, however,
was not attempted at this time; perhaps the rank injus-
tice of such a scheme may have had some influence with
the Government.
From the time that Florida became a possession of
the United States, a certain element of the white settlers
were disposed to look upon the territory as belonging
wholly to us, ignoring entirely the claims of the Indians.
Now began a series of the grossest acts of injustice toward
the red men, including in many cases a bare-faced robbery
of their fields, as well as their cattle and slaves.
We subjoin the evidence of a few impartial wit-
nesses in this connection. Captain John T. Sprague,
Am. State Papers, Vol II, Indian affairs.
t General Jackson is himself a witness on this latter point.
t This was the earliest proposition, at least of an official nature, to re-
move the Seminoles from Florida.

34 Red Patriots:

prominent throughout the war, and the author of the
best and latest history of the same from the white man's
stand-point, thus refers to the class who were almost
constantly harassing the Indians:
"It must be remembered that Florida, at the per-
iod referred to, was an Indian border, the resort of a
large number of persons, more properly temporary in-
habitants of the Territory than citizens, who sought
the outskirts of civilization to perpetrate deeds which
would have been promptly and severely punished if
committed within the limits of a well regulated com-
munity. They provoked the Indians to aggressions,
and upon the breaking out of the war they ignominiously
fled or sought employment in the service of the General
Government, and clandestinely contributed to its con-
It must not be inferred from the above that the
bona fide citizens of the country were all guiltless, for
they were not, as the reader will soon perceive.
Charles Vignoles, a United States Civil Engineer
who surveyed the Atlantic coast of the Territory, from
St. Marys River to Cape Florida, soon after the transfer,
gives some striking instances of these impositions upon
the Indians, among which is the following:
"A few worthless wretches from St. Augustine,
for the purpose of alarming the Indians and inducing
them to sell their slaves for almost nothing,-a piece of
imposition that had often before been practiced,-went
into the nation and spread reports that two thousand
American troops, under General Jackson, were coming
down to expel them from their lands and carry away
their slaves and cattle. The Indians upon this aban-
doned their crops and sold many of their slaves, by
*Origia, Progress and Conclusion of the Florida War, 1847.

The Story of the Seminoles. 35

which the avarice of the speculators was gratified."*
In corroboration of the above, we extract from a
letter written by George Clarke, Esq., one of the most
influential and highly respected residents of Florida, to
Captain John R. Bell,commanding in the Territory. Cap-
tain Bell called on Mr. Clarke in 1821 for information
regarding the section of country (northern border) in
which he lived. In his reply, Mr. Clarke speaks of the
"very grievous evil of parties of Floridians and Georg-
ians combined, going frequently to the Indian country
of Florida to plunder cattle; a lucrative practice that
had been going on for years, and was carried to such
excess that large gangs of cattle could be purchased
along the river (St. Marys) at the low price of from
two to three dollars per head."t
Woodbine Potter, a staff officer of General Gaines,
who took copious notes during his stay in Florida and
afterwards published a book, says of the depredations
of white men:
I am inclined to believe, from the mass of evi-
dence furnished me, that the whites have not been back-
ward in applying Indian property to their own uses,
whenever it may have suited their convenience, and as
the laws were alone favorable to the whites in conse-
quence of the exclusion of Indian evidence in courts of
justice, I they thought they had a doubtless right to do
with the Indian or his property as they might think
proper." |j
Another observer thus testifies:
*Observations Upon the Floridas, Vicnoles, 1823.
+Contained in th Report of Rev. Jedidith M ,rpe to the Secretary of
War, 182. Also in Am. tate Papers, V 4 2, In lian Affur.
-" Every ha niv bein-r hrrn i no:1 ir tine 't. or whco enomA h're from
any quarter of the w't'rl, waoe'her ie r r civiliz1 ci.t g) o to *ur courts
for protection, except th, e ) ho belong to the tribes w(ho once owned this
o ountry."-Horatio Seymour.
IlThe war in Fioriia, by a Late Staff Officer, 1836.

86 Red Patriots:

"Year after year the avaricious whites continued
to advance farther and deeper into the peaceful country
of the Seminoles, until they occupied the fairest portion
of their soil. They corrupted the Indians by mean and
petty traffic; degraded them with intoxicating and
ruinous draughts; and contaminated their rude and
simple virtues by frequent examples of deception and
fraud, until, finally, by extortion and oppression, they
roused the slumbering spirit of revenge, and drove the
savages to madness and desperation."*
Perhaps the most convincing evidence, however, of
the feeling and injustice toward the Seminole, is fur-
nished in a statement made by a member of the Florida
Legislative Council, in 1824, to Colonel Gad Humphreys,
Indian Agent; after referring to the unwillingness of
the nation to remove from the Territory, this represen-
tative of the people said:
Reader, whoever you are, and whatever your views
regarding the Indian in general, is not the above strong
and conclusive evidence that the Seminoles were peace-
ably inclined? But let us clinch this with further proof,
from a still higher source:
Judge Robert R. Reid, Governor of the Florida
Territory in 1839, thus eloquently declared, in an ora-
tion delivered at St. Augustine July 4th, 1838:
*Osceola, by a Southerner, 1838.
officiall report of the agent to Thomas L. McKenney, Superintendent
of Indian Affairs, under date of Aug. 9th, 1825.

The Story of the Seminoles. 87

"And cordially and quietly and prosperously were
we moving on, fellow-citizens, when the Government
sought to remove the Indians from our territory before
the preparations for that purpose authorized the attempt.
The Indians, stung by an indigni ty offered to Osceola,
urged by his influence, and operated upon by their
young men, who were panting for war, (?) gave a loose
to their savage fury,-a fury which, notwithstanding
the efforts of army and militia, remains yet to be sub-
What wonder then that such undeserved wrongs and
accumulated outrages kindled in the bosom of the proud
and revengeful Seminole an inextinguishable hatred
for his white oppressor!
"Ye've trailed me through the forest; ye've tracked me
o'er the stream;
And struggling through the Everglades your bristling bay-
onets gleam;
But I stand as should the warrior, with rifle and with
The scalp of vengeance still is red and warns you, Come
not here.'
" I loathe you in my bosom; I scorn you with mine eye;
I'll taunt you with my latest breath; I'll fight you tillI die.
I ne'er will ask for quarter, and I ne'er will be your slave;
But I'll swim the sea of slaughter till I sink beneath its
*Bench and Bar of Georgia, Miller, 1858.



Two years after the country was ceded to the
United States, it was proposed to remove the Seminoles
to the southern part of the peninsula. In order to con-
sider a treaty to be drawn up for this purpose, seventy
of the principal chiefs and warriors were finally reluc-
tantly persuaded to visit Camp Moultrie, situated about
four miles south of St. Augustine, on Moultrie Creek.*
The first assemblage took place on the 6th of September,
1823, and the "talk" continued to the 18th. Nea-
mathla was present, and the other Indians declared him
to be the principal chief of the nation.t
The treaty negotiated on this occasion, required
the Indians then living west of the Suwanee River, and
all others, to relinquish all claim or title which they
have to the whole territory of Florida, with the excep-
tion of such district of country as shall herein be allowed
to them." They were to give up their old homes and
cultivated fields, where they had lived, in many cases,
for over a century, and remove to the wild country south
*This historic meeting place was on the south half of the southeast
quarter of Sec. 2, Tp. 8 South, Range 29 East.
t.Am. State Papers, Vol. 2, Indian Affairs, p. 437.

The Story of the Seminoles. 89

of the Withlacoochee River. The tract selected for
them was estimated to contain 5,000,000 acres.
The Indians were guaranteed "protection against
all persons whomsoever, and to restrain and prevent all
white persons from hunting, settling, or otherwise
intruding upon said lands." The sum of $15,400 was
to be divided among them as payment for their abandoned
property. They were also to receive, among other
things, an annuity of $5,000 for twenty years, the
period during which the treaty was to remain in force.
After much persuasion, thirty-three of the chiefs, in-
cluding Neamathla, Mickenopah and King Philip,
finally signed the document on the 18th of September.
Six of the old and prominent chiefs, who were present
and had signed the treaty,-viz: Neamathla, John Blount,
Mulatto King, Tuskihajo, Emathlochee, and Econchat-
timico,-earnestly requested that they be allowed to
remain in West Florida. This request was finally
granted-in consideration of the services they had ren-
dered the United States, says the treaty-and they were
allowed to select reservations along the Appalachicola
and Chattahoochee Rivers, in what is now called Jack-
son County, and near the Ocklockney, in the present
county of Gadsden. Neamathla's reservation was two
miles square, and was situated in the latter locality,
about four miles south of Quincy. It was afterwards
thought that Neamathla was too far away from the bulk
of the nation to properly govern them. This finally led
to the election of John Hicks as principal chief.
At the request of the nation, a tract of land one
mile square was reserved for their agent, Colonel Hum-
phreys, as a token of the high regard in which he was
A prominent resident of the Territory at this time,

40 Red Patriots:

says that after the Indians removed to the south, their
improvements were immediately occupied by immigrants
from different parts of the United States," and that
"the land, to which they are legally banished, consists
of dry sand ridges and interminable swamps, almost
wh olly unfit for cultivation; they are now in a
starving condition."*
So miserable was the condition of the Seminoles in
their new location, that in March 1826, President Adams
addressed a message to Congress transmitting informa-
tion on the subject, and asking for its favorable consid-
Referring to the former prosperous condition of the
Seminoles in their old homes, Mr. Williams says:
This tribe paid much attention to the raising of
cattle and horses; and the women raised hogs and fowls.
Indeed, their savage character was much broken; and
had they continued to cultivate the rich fields of Mick-
asukey and Tallahassee; they would soon have attained
a considerable degree of civilization."
"More than one hundred and sixty treaties with
Indian tribes are on the statute books," says Thomas
Donaldson, "as solemnly entered into as was a treaty
with Great Britain. The effect was different, however.
The Indian was powerless to enforce the treaty, and so
the Indian suffered."t
He suffered in this instance. Although the treaty
expressly stipulated that white persons would be pre-
vented from intruding on the Seminole reservation,
many owners of slaves, as well as the piratical slave-
catchers who only pretended to have lost such property,

*View of West Florida, Williams, 1827.
+Ex. Doc. 111, 1st Sea., 19th Cong.
MThe George Catlin Indian Gallery, 1885.

The Story of the Seminoles. 41

together with the cattle thieves, made forays into the
new Indian settlements in every direction.
Notwithstanding the uneasy peace that prevailed,
some of the wealthier Indians owned considerable num-
bers of negroes. E-con-chatti-mico, a chief highly
respected by many white settlers, had as many as twenty,
while others owned larger lots. These "Indian ne-
groes," as mentioned in an earlier chapter, lived in a
condition between servitude and freedom, usually hav-
ing their own time and paying their masters an annual
percentage of the crops they raised. Most of them lived
apart from their masters, whom they never voluntarily
left to join the whites. They were, however, frequently
seized and carried off by the slave-hunters.
This practice became so common that a body of
chiefs assembled at the agency, on April 17th, 1828, and
protested against such outrages, declaring that "many
of their negroes, horses and cattle were in the hands of
the whites, for which they were unable to obtain com-
pensation." At the same time, the Indians wanted to
know "Iwhy the white people thus violated the treaty to
rob them." Had the agent been frank in his reply, he
would have admitted the disgraceful fact that United
States citizens were ransacking their lands by permis-
sion of the Secretary of War.*
While the white settlers were allowed, on one pretext
or another, to enter the country of the Indians, the latter
were expressly forbidden, by an act of the Florida Leg-
islative Council passed in 1824, to roam beyond the
limits of the territory assigned them. The penalty for
a violation of this act was thirty-nine stripes of the
lash on the bare back of the offender, and the forfeiture
of his gun. The act gave any person the right to arrest
and take the Indian before a justice for sentence.
*Ex. Doc. 271, 1st Ses., 24th Cong.

42 Red Patriots:

There is abundant proof that the Seminoles adhered
to their agreement with the Government. An officer of
the 4th artillery, writing from Camp St. Johns, Decem-
ber 29th, 1837, pays them a glowing tribute on this
point. He says, among other things, that the Treaty of
Camp Moultrie "was maintained by the Seminoles with
the greatest integrity," and that if an Indian passed
the boundary lines without leave, he was pursued by
Indians, brought to the agency, and there, before the
eyes of the agent, whipped by Indian hands."*
The chief Econchattimico, who with others lost all
of his slaves by white robbers, finally petitioned Con-
gress for indemnity, and called for protection according
to the stipulations of Camp Moultrie Treaty, but with-
out success.
"During the nineteenth century," says the late
Joshua R. Giddings, "perhaps no despotism has existed
among civilized nations more unlimited or more unscru-
pulous than that exercised in Florida from 1823 to
1843."1 A vivid description of the barbarities practiced
on the Seminoles, is contained in a letter from their
agent, Col. Gad Humphreys, dated March 6th, 1827, to
the Secretary of War.
Instead of adhering to the treaty and "preventing
all white persons from hunting, settling, or otherwise
intruding upon said lands," by which course peace
would have been guaranteed for an indefinite period, our
Government, with an avaricious eye upon the possession
of the entire peninsula, now turned its attention to the
removal of the Indians altogether.
In order to effect this object peaceably, a new treaty
was proposed by the United States Government. The
Army and Navy Chronicle, January 25th, 1888.
+Ex. Doc. 181, Vol..2,2d Sea., 24th Cong.
tExiles of Florida, 1858.

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