Collecting Bromeliads and Orchids in Florida



Second Seminole War

As the realization that the Seminoles would resist relocation sank in, Florida began to prepare for war. Settlers fled to safety as the Seminoles attacked plantations and a militia wagon train. Two companies, totaling 108 men under the command of Maj. Francis L. Dade, were sent from Fort Brooke to reinforce Fort King. On December 28, 1835, Seminoles am-bushed the soldiers and wiped out the command. Only two soldiers made it back to Fort Brooke, and one died of his wounds a few days later.

Over the next few months Generals Clinch, Gaines and Winfield Scott, and territorial governor Richard Keith Call, led large numbers of troops in pursuit of the Seminoles.

In mid-November Call tried again. His forces made it across the Withlacoochee River this time, but found the Cove abandoned. Call divided his forces and pro-ceeded up the river (south) on both sides. On Novem-ber 17th, the Seminoles were routed from a large camp. There was another battle the next day, and the Seminoles were assumed to be headed for the Wahoo Swamp. Call waited to bring the other colum across the river, then entered the Wahoo Swamp on November 21st. The Seminoles resisted the advance in the Battle of Wahoo Swamp, as their families were close by, but had to retreat across a stream.

Major David Moniac, a mix-blooded Creek who was the first Native American to graduate from West Point, tried to determine how deep the stream was, but was shot and killed by the Seminoles as published in the "Warrior From West Point" written by Captain Kennith L. Benton. In the meantime, the Seminoles struck throughout the state, attacking isolated farms, many settlements, plantations and Army forts, burning the Cape Florida Lighthouse. Supply problems and a high rate of illness during the summer caused by the Army to abandon several forts.

Late in 1836, Major General Thomas Jesup was placed in command of the war. Jesup brought a new approach to the war. Instead of sending the large columns out to try to force the Seminoles into a set-piece battle, he concentrated on wearing the Seminoles down. This required a large military presence in Florida, and Jesup eventually had a force of more than 9,000 men under his command. About half of the force were volunteers and militia. It also included a brigade of marines, Navy and Revenue-Marine personel patrolling the coast and inland rivers and streams.

In January 1837, there was a change in the war. In various actions, numerous Seminoles and Black Seminoles were killed or captured. At the end of January, some Seminole Chiefs sent messengers to Jesup, and a truce was arranged. In March a "Capitulation" was signed by several chiefs, including Micanopy, stipulating that the Seminoles could be accompanied by their allies and "Their Negroes, their bona fied property," in their relocation to the west. By the end of May, many chiefs, including Micanopy, had surrendered.

Two important leaders, Osceola and Sam Jones  (a.k.a. Abiaca) had not surrendered, and were vehemently opposed to relocation. On June 2 these two leaders with about 200 followers, entered the poorly guarded holding camp at Fort Brooke and led away the 700 Seminoles there who had surrendered. The war was on again, and Jesup would never again trust the word of an Indian.

On Jesup's orders, several Indian leaders, including Coacoochee (Wildcat), Osceola and Micanopy were seized when they appeared for conferences under a white flag of truce. Coacoochee and a number of other captives were able to escape their cells at Fort Marion
in St. Augustine, but Osceola did not go with them.

Jesup organized a sweep down the peninsula with multiple columns pushing the Seminoles futher south. On Christmas Day, 1837, Colonel Zachary Taylor's 
column of 800 men encountered a body of about 400 Seminoles on the north shore of Lake Okeechobee.
The Seminoles were led by Sam Jones, Alligator and the recently escaped Coacoochee, and were well positioned in a hammock surrounded by sawgrass. The Seminoles were eventually driven from the hammock, escaping across the lake, but Taylor lost 26 killed and 112 wounded, while the Seminole casualties were eleven dead and 14 wounded. The Battle of Lake Okeechobee was hailed as a great victory for Taylor and the Army.

At the end of January, Jesup's troops caught up with a large body of Seminoles to the east of Lake Okeechobee. The Seminoles were originally positioned in a hammock, but cannon and rocket fire drove them back across a wide stream, where they made another stand. The Seminoles eventually just faded away, having caused more casualties than they received, and the Battle of Loxahatchee was over. In Febru-ary 1838, Seminole chiefs Tuskegee and Halleck Hadjo approached Jesup with the proposition that they would stop fighting if they were allowed to stay south of Lake Okeechobee. Jesup favored the idea but had to write Washington for approval. The chiefs and their followers camped near the Army while waiting for the reply. When the secretary of war rejected the idea, Jesup seized the 500 Indians in the camp, and sent them west.

In May, Jesup's request to be relieved of command was granted, and Zachary Taylor assumed command of the Army forces in Florida. With reduced forces in Florida, Taylor concentrated on keeping the Seminoles out of northern Florida by building many small posts at twenty-mile intervals across northern Florida, connected by a grid of roads. The winter season was fairly quiet. While incidents and skirmishes continued, there were no major actions. In Washington and around the country, support for the war was eroding, many people were beginning to think that the Seminoles had earned a right to stay in Florida. The war was far from over and had become very costly.
President Martin Van Buren sent the Commanding General of the Army, Alexander Macomb, to negotiate a new treaty with the Seminoles on May the 19th, 1839. Macomb announced that an agreement had been reached with the Seminoles and that they were to stop fighting in exchange for a reservation in southern Florida.

As the summer passed, the agreement seemed to be holding.
On July 23, some 150 Indians attacked a trading post on the Caloosahatchee River that was guarded by a detachment of 23 soldiers, under the command of Col. William S. Harney. Some of the soldiers, including Colonel Harney, were able to reach the river and find boats to escape in, but most of the soldiers, as well as several civilians in the trading post, were killed. Many blamed "Spanish" Indians, led by Chakaika for the attack, but others suspected Sam Jones, whose band of Mikasukis had been the ones to actually breach the agreement with Macomb. Sam Jones promised to turn the men responsible for the attack over to Harney in days. Before that time was up, two soldiers visiting Sam Jones' camp were killed.
Trying new tactics, the Army turned to bloodhounds to track the Indians, with poor results. Taylor's blockhouse and patrol system in northern Florida kept the Seminoles on the move but could not clear them from the area. In May 1849, Zachary Taylor, having served longer than any preceding commander in the Florida war, was granted his request for a transfer and was replaced by Brig. Gen. Walker Keith Armistead. Armistead immediately went on the offensive, actively campaigning during the summer. The Army was seeking the hidden camps of the Indians, burning feilds and driving off horses, cattle and pigs. By the middle of the summer, the Army had destroyed 500 acres of Seminole crops.
The Navy was taking a larger role in the war, with sailors and marines pushing up rivers and streams and into the Everglades. In late 1839, Navy Lt. John T. McLaughlin 
was given command of a joint Army-Navy amphibious force to operate in Florida. Lt. McLaughlin established his base at Tea Table Key in the upper Florida Keys.

Traveling from December 1840 to the middle of January 1841, McLaughlin's force crossed the Everglades from east to west in dugout canoes, the first group of whites to complete such a crossing.

Indian Key

Indian Key is a small island in the upper Florida Keys. In 1840, it was the county seat of the newly created Dade County and a wrecking port. Early in the morning of August 7, 1840, a large party of "Spanish" Indians snuck onto Indian Key. By chance, one man was up and raised the alarm after spotting the Indians. Of about fifty people living on the island, forty were able to escape. The dead included Dr. Henry Perrine, former United States Consul in Campeche, Mexico, who was waiting at Indian Key until it was safe to take up a 36 square mile grant on the mainland that Congress had awarded him.
The naval base on Tea Table Key was manned by only one doctor, his patients and five saliors under a midshipman to look after them. This small contingent mounted a couple of cannon on barges and tried to attack the Indians on Indian Key. The Indians fired back at the sailors with musket balls loaded in cannon on the shore. The recoil of the cannon broke them loose from the barges sending them into the water, and the sailors had to retreat. The Indians burned the buildings on Indian Key after throughly looting it. In December 1840, Col. Harney at the head of ninety men found Chakaika's camp deep in the Everglades. Chakaika was killed, and some of the men in his band were hanged.

War Winds Down

Armistead had $55,000 US to use for bribing chiefs to surrender. Echo Emathla, a Tallahassee Chief, surrendered, but most of the Tallahassee under chief Tiger Tail did not. Coosa Tustenuggee finally did accept $5,000 for bringing in his sixty people. Less valued chiefs received $200, and every warrior got $30 US and a rifle. By the spring of 1841, Armistead had sent 450 Seminoles west. Another 236 were at Fort Brooke awaiting transportation. Armistead estimated that 120 warriors had been shipped west during his tenure and that there were no more than 300 warriors left in Florida. In May 1841, Armistead was replaced by Col. William Jenkins Worth as the commander of Army forces in Florida.

Because the war was unpopular with the nation and in Congress, Worth had to cut back. Nearly 1,000 civilian employees of the Army was released, and smaller commands were consolidated. Worth then ordered his men out on "search and destroy" missions during the summer, which effectively drove the Seminoles out of much of the rest of northern Florida. The continuing pressure applied by the Army was having an effect. Some groups of Seminoles surrendered to avoid starvation. Others were seized when they came in to negotiate surrender, including for the second time, Coacoochee. A large bribe secured Coacoochee's cooperation in persuading others to surrender.

After Colonel Worth recommended early in 1842 that the remaining Seminoles be left in peace, he received authorization to lead the remaining Seminoles on an informal reserv-ation in southwestern Florida and to declare an end to the war, which he did on August 14, 1842. In the same month, Congress passed the Armed Occupation Act, which provided free land to settlers who improved the land and were prepared to defend themselves from the Indians. At the end of 1842, the remaining Indians in Florida living outside the reserva-tion in southwest Florida were rounded up and shipped west. By April 1843, the Army presence in Florida had been reduced to one regiment. By Novenber 1843, Worth reported that the only Indians left in Florida were about 95 men and some 200 women and children living on the reservation, and that they were no longer a threat.


The second Seminole War may have cost as much as $40,000,000. More than 40,000 regular U.S. military, militiamen and volunteers that served in the war. This Indian War cost the lives of 1,500 soldiers, mostly from disease, plus many Indian lives and homes. It is estimated that more than 300 regular U.S. Army, Navy and Marine Corps personel were killed in action, along with 55 volunteers.

There is no record of Seminole Warriors killed in action. A great many Seminoles died of disease and starvation in Florida, on the journey west, and even after they reached Indian Territory. An unknown but substantial number of white civilians were killed by the Seminoles during the war.

Second Interbellum

Peace had come to Florida. The Indians were mostly staying on the reservation. Groups of ten or so men would visit Tampa to trade and get drunk. Squatters were moving closer to the reserv-ation however, and in 1845 President James Polk established a 20-mile wide buffer zone around the reservation. No land could be claimed within the buffer zone, no title would be issued for land there, and the U.S. Marshal would remove squatters from within the buffer zone upon request. In 1845, Thomas P. Kennedy, who operated a store at Fort Brooke, converted his fishing station on Pine Island into a trading post for the Indians. The post did not do well however, because the whites who sold whiskey to the Indians told them that they would be seized and sent west if they went to Kennedy's store.

The Florida authorities continued to press for removal of all Indians from Florida. The Indians for their part, tried to limit their contacts with whites as much as possible.
In 1846, Captain John T. Sprague was placed in charge of Indian affairs in Florida. He had great difficulty in getting the chiefs to meet with him. They were very distrustful of the Army since it had often seized chiefs while under a flag of truce. He did manage to meet with all the chiefs in 1847, while investigating a report of a raid on a farm. He reported that the Indians in Florida then only numbered 120 warriors, including 70 Seminoles in Billy Bowlegs' band, thirty Mikasukis in Sam Jones' band, twelve Creeks (Muscogee speakers) in Chipco's band, 4 Yuchis and 4 Choctaws. He also estimated that there were 100 women and 140 children.

Indian Attacks

The trading post on Pine Island had burned down in 1848, and in 1849 Thomas Kenndy and his new partner, John Darling were given permission to open a trading post on what is now Paynes Creek, a tributary of the Peace River. One band of Indians was living outside the reservation at this time. Called "Outsiders," it consisted of twenty warriors under the leadership of Chipo, and included 5 Muscogees,
seven Mikasukis, six Seminoles, one Creek and one Yuchi. On July 12, 1849, four members of his band attacked a farm on the Indian River
just north of Fort Pierce, killing one man and wounding another man and woman. The news of this raid caused much of the population of the east coast of Florida to flee the city of St. Augustine. On July 17, four of the "outsiders" who had attacked the farm on the Indian River, plus a 5th man who had not been at Indian River, attacked the Kennedy and Darling store. Two workers at the store, including a Captain Payne, were killed, and another worker and his wife were wounded as they escorted their child into hiding.

The U.S. Army was not prepared to engage the Indians. It had few men stationed in Florida and no means to move them quickly to where they could protect the white settlers and capture the Indians. The War Department began a new buildup in Florida, placing Major General David E. Twigs in command, and the state called up 2 companies of mounted volunteers to guard settlements. Captain John Casey, who was in charge of the effort to move the Indians west, was able to arrange a meeting between General Twiggs and several of the Indian leaders at Charlotte Harbor. At that meeting, Chief Billy Bowlegs (pictured here) promised, with approval of other Seminole leaders, to deliver the five men res-ponsible for the attacks to the Army within thirty days. On October the 18th, Bowlegs delivered three of the men to Twiggs, along with the severed hand of another who had been killed while trying to escape. The 5th man had been captured but had escaped.

After Bowlegs had delivered the three murderes, General Twiggs told the Indians, much to their dismay, that he had been ordered to remove them from Florida. The government would apply three tactics to carry out the removal. The Army in Florida was increased to 1,500 men. One hundred thousand dollars was appropriated for bribing Indians to move.
Finally, a delegation of Seminole Chiefs was brought from the Indian Territory to negotiate with their counterparts in Florida. Eventually a Mikasuki sub-chief, Kapiktoosootse, agreed to lead his people west. In February 1850, 74 Indians boarded a ship for New Orleans, they were paid a total of $15,953 in bribes and in compensation for property left in Florida. There were a couple of incidents that soured relations after that. A Muskogee and Mikasuki who had gone in to trade at the same time as Kapiktoosootse and his band were surrendering were involuntarily shipped off to New Orleans with them. Then in March, a mounted detach-ment of the 7th Infantry penetrated far into the reservation. As a result, the other Indians broke off contact with the negotiators. By April, Twiggs was reporting to Washington that there was no hope of convincing any more Indians to move.

In August 1850, an orphan boy living on a farm in north central Florida was apparently killed by Indians. Eventually enough complaints about the incident had reached Washington to make the Secretary of War to order the surrender of the Indians responsible or the president would hold the whole tribe responsible. Captian Casey was able to get word to Bowlegs and arrange a meeting in April. Bowlegs promised to deliver the men responsible, although they apparently were members of Chipco's band of Indians, over which Billy Bowlegs had no authority.

Chipo decided to surrender three men as the possible killers, and they were arrested when they showed up to trade in Fort Myers. Once in custody, the three protested their innocence saying that Chipo did not like them and that other men in Chipo's band were the actual killers, and Captian Casey believed them.

The three men tried to escape from the jail in Tampa but were caught and chained up in their cell. They were later found hanging from the bars in their cell. One was still alive when found but was not cut down until the next day, after he had died. It was noted in the community that the constable who had chained the three Indians in their cell was the father-in-law of a brother of one of the men killed at the Kennedy and Darling store in 1849, the Paynes Creek Massacre.

Futher Indian Removal

In 1851, General Luther Blake was appointed by the secretary of the interior to move the Indians west. He had successfully removed the Cherokees from Georgia and was presumably up to the job of removing the Seminoles. He had funding to pay every adult male $800 and every woman and child $450. He went to the Indian Territory to find interpreters and returned to Florida in March 1852. He went far into the field to meet with all of the Indian leaders and by July, had 16 Indians to send west. Finding Billy Bowlegs insistent on staying in Florida, Blake took Bowlegs and several other chiefs to Washington. President Millard Fillmore presented Bowlegs with a medal, then he and three other chiefs were persuaded to sign an agreement promising to leave Florida. The chies were then taken on a tour that included the cities of Baltimore, Philadelphia and New York City. Upon returning to Florida, the chiefs repudiated the agreement they had signed in Washington. Blake was fired in 1853, and Captain Casey was put back in charge of Indian removal.

In January 1851, the Florida Legislature had created the position of Commander of the Florida Militia, and Governor Thomas Brown appointed Benjamin Hopkins to it. Over the next two years, the Florida Militia pursued Indians that were outside the reservation boundaries. During this period the militia captured one man and a few women, and 140 hogs. One old Indian woman had committed suicide while being held by the militia, after the rest of her family had escaped. The whole operation had cost the state $40,000 U.S.

Pressure from Florida officials once more pushed the federal government to take action. Captain Casey continued to try to persuade the Seminoles to move west but had no luck. He sent Billy Bowlegs and others to Washington again, but the chiefs again refused to move.

In August 1854, Secretary of War Jefferson Davis initiated a program to force the Seminoles into a final conflict. The plan included a trade imbargo with the Indians, the survey and sale of land in Southern Florida, and a stronger Army presence to protect the new settlers. Davis said that if the Indians did not agree to leave, the Army would use force.

The Third Seminole War

Increased Army presence and Indian Attacks:
By late 1855, there were more than 700 Army troops stationed on the Florida peninsula.
Around that time the Seminoles decided that they would strike back at the increasing pressure being put on them and attack when an opportunity presented itself. Sam Jones may have been the instigator of this decision. Chipco was said to have been against it. On December 7, 1855, First Lieutenant George Hartsuff,
who had led previous patrols into the reservation, left Fort Myers with 10 men and two wagons. They found no Seminoles but did pass corn fields and three deserted villages, including Billy Bowlegs' village.
On the evening of December19, Hartsuff told his men that they would be returning to Fort Myers the next day. As the men were loading the wagons and saddling their horses the next morning, (December 20, 1855), 40 Seminoles led by Billy Bowlegs attacked the camp. Many soldiers were shot, including Lieutenant Hartsuff, who managed to hide himself. The Seminoles killed and scalped four men in the camp, killed the wagon mules, looted and burned the wagons and took several horses. Seven men, four of them wounded, made it back to Fort Myers.
When the news of the attack reached Tampa, the men of the city elected militia officers and organized companies. The newly-formed militia marched to the Peace River valley, recruited more men, and manned some forts along the river.
Governor James Broome started organizing as many volunteer companies as he could. Because the state had limited funds, he tried to have the Army accept the volunteers. Secretary of War Jefferson Davis accepted two infantry companies and three mounted companies, about 260 men. Governor Broome kept another 400 men mobilized under state control. The state troops, both those accepted by the Army and those remaining under state control, had been partly armed and supplied by private donations.

General Jesse Carter was appointed by Governor Broome as "Special Agent"... without military rank to lead the state troops. Carter set half of the state troops to growing crops, and so only 200 of his men were available for patrols. A Tampa newspaper noted that the mounted patrols preferred to patrol in open country, which was easier for the horses, but it allowed the Seminoles to see them coming.

On January 6, 1856, two men gathering coontie south of the Miami River were killed.
The settlers in the area promptly fled to Fort Dallas Florida and Key Biscayne.
A party of some twenty Seminoles under Ocsen Tustenuggee attacked a wood-cutting patrol outside of Fort Denaud, 
killing five of the six men. Despite the positioning of militia units to defend the area, the Seminoles also raided along the coast south of Tampa Bay. They killed one man and burned a house in what now is Sarasota, and on March 31, 1856, they tried to attack the Braden Castle, the plantation home of Dr. Joseph Braden, in what is now Bradenton. The "Castle" was too strong for them, but they led away seven slaves and three mules. Burdened with prisoners and loot, the Seminoles did not move fast. While they were stopped at Big Charley Apopka Creek eating barbecued beef from a cow they had found and slaughtered, the militia caught up with them. The militiamen killed two of the Seminoles and recaptured the slaves and mules taken from Dr. Braden's plantation. The scalp of one of the dead Seminoles was displayed in Tampa, the other in Manatee.

During April, regular Army and militiamen patrolled around and into the reservation but made little contact with the Seminoles. One six-hour battle was fought near Bowlegs Town in April, with four regulars killed and three wounded before the Seminoles withdrew. The Seminoles continued to carry out small raids around the state. On May 14, 1856, 15 Seminoles attacked the farm house of  Captain Robert Bradley north of Tampa, killing two of his young children. One Seminole was killed by Bradley. He may have been targeted because he had killed Tiger Tail's brother during the Second Seminole War. On May 17, Seminoles attacked a wagon train in central Florida, killing three men. Mail and stagecoach service in and out of Tampa was suspended until the military could provide protection.

On June 14, 1856, Seminoles attacked a farm two miles from Fort Meade. All of the house-hold made it safely into the house and they were able to hold the Seminoles at bay. The gunfire was heard at Fort Meade, and seven mounted militiamen responded. Three of the militiamen were killed and two others were wounded. More militiamen pursued the Seminoles but had to retreat when a sudden rain wet their powder. On June 16, twenty militiamen from Fort Fraser surprised the Seminoles along the Peace River, killing some of the Seminoles. The militiamen withdrew after losing two dead and two wounded. They claimed to have killed as many as twenty Seminoles, but the Indians admitted to only four dead and two wounded. However, one of the dead was Ocsen Tustenuggee, who seems to have been the only chief who would actively lead attacks against the settlements.

The citizens of Florida were becoming upset with the militia. There were complaints that the militiamen would pretend to patrol for a day or two and then go home to work their fields, and that they were given to idleness, drunkenness, and thievery. The officers were reported to be unwilling to submit required paperwork. Most importantly, the militia had failed to prevent attacks against the settlers.

New Strategy

In September 1856, Brigadier General William S. Harney returned to Florida, as the commamder of federal troops, remembering what he learned in the Second Seminole War.
He set up a system of forts in a line across Florida, and patrols moved deep into Seminole Territory. He planned to confine the Seminoles to the Big Cypress Swamp and into the Everglades, because he believed they would be unable to live there during the wet season. He anticipated being able to catch the Indians when they left their flooded sanctuaries seeking dry land for raising their crops.

Part of Harney's plan involved using boats to reach islands and other dry spots deep in the swamps. He first made one more attempt to negotiate with the Seminoles but was unable to make contact with them. In January 1857, he ordered his troops to persue the Indians at all costs. Harney's plan however, had shown few results by the time he and the 5th Infantry were transferred to Kansas to aid in all the uprisings there in April.

Colonel Gustaus Loomis replaced General Harney as commander in Florida, but the with-drawal of the Fifth Infantry left him with only ten companies of the Fourth Artillery, which was later reduced to just four companies. He organized volunteers into boat companies, which were given metal "Alligator Boats" that had been built specifically for use in the Big Cypress Swamp and Everglades. Thirty feet long, pointed at both ends, and drawing two to three feet of water, these boats could carry up to 16 men into the swamps. The boat companies were able to capture many Indians, primarily women and children.

The regulars did not do as well. Some officers, including Captian Abner Doubleday (right), observed  that the Seminoles easily avoided the Army patrols. Doubleday attributed this to the fact that most of the enlisted men were recent immigrants who had no skils in woodcraft.

In 1857, ten companies of Florida militia were taken into federal service, totaling almost 800 men by September. In November, these troops capture 18 women and children from Billy Bowlegs band. The troops also found and destroyed several towns and fields of crops. The troops moved into the Big Cypress Swamp starting on New Year's Day 1858, again destroying the towns and fields they found. Another delegation from the Indian Territory came to Florida in January and attempted to contact Bowlegs. The troops stood down while the attempt was made, and Bowlegs was contacted. The previous year, the Seminoles had finally been given their own reservation in Indian Territory separate from the Creeks. Cash payments of $500 to each warrior, more to the chiefs, and $100 to each woman were promised. On March 15th, Bowlegs' and Assinwar's bands accepted the offer and agreed to go west. On May the 4th, a total of 163 Seminoles (including some captured earlier) were shipped to New Orleans. Then, on May the 8th, 1858, Colonel Loomis declared the Seminole War to be over.


When Colonel Loomis had declared an end to the Third Seminole War, it was believed that there were only one hundred Seminoles left in Florida. In December 1858, another effort was made to move the remaining Indians west. Two bands totaling 75 Seminoles came in and were shipped west on February 15, 1859. There were still Seminoles left in Florida, however, Sam Jones' band was living in southwest Florida, inland from Miami.

Chipo's band was living north of Lake Okeechobee, although the Army and the militia had failed to locate it. Individual families were scattered across the wet-lands of southern Florida.

Since the war was offically over, and the remaining Seminoles were staying quiet, the militiamen were sent home and the regular Army troops were reassigned. All of the forts built for the Seminole wars were decommissioned and soon stripped by the settlers of any usable materials.

In 1862, the State of Florida contacted Sam Jones with promises of aid in an attempt to keep the Seminoles neutral in the Civil War. The state did not follow through on its promises, but the Seminoles were not interested in fighting another war.

The 1868 Florida Constitution gave the Seminoles one seat in the House and one seat in the Senate of the State Legislature but, the Seminoles never filled the positions, and they were removed in the 1885 State Consitution.


Buker, George E. 1975. Swamp Sailors; Riverine Warfare in the Everglades 1835-1842. Gainesville, Florida; The University Press of Florida.
Collier, Ellen C. 1993. Instances od Use of United States Forces Abroad, 1798-1993 at Naval Historical Center, October 22, 2006
Covington, James W. 1993. The Seminoles of Florida. Gainesville, Florida; University Press of Florida.
Florida Board of State Institutions. 1903. Soldiers of Florida in the Seminole Indian, Civil and Spanish-American wars. October 22, 2006
Higgs, Robert. 2005. "Not Merely Perfidious but Ungrateful"; The U.S. Takeover of West Florida; at The Independent Institue-October 22, 2006.
Kimbal, Joe. 2003. Florida's Seminole Wars; 1817-1878. Charleston, South Carolina; Arcadia Publishing.
Lacey, Michael O., Maj. 2002. Military Commissions: A Historical Survey. The Army Lawer, March, 2002.
Department of the Army Pam. 27-50-350. P.42.
Mahon, John K. 1967. History of the Second Seminole War. Gainesville, Florida: University of Florida Press.
Milanich, Jerald T. 1995. Florida Indians and the Invasion from Europe. Gainseville, Florida: The University Press of Florida.
Missall, John and Mary Lou Missall. 2004. The Seminole Wars: America's Longest Indian Conflict. University Press of Florida.
Office of the Chief of Military History, United States Army. 2001. Chapter 7: The Thirty Years Peace. American Military History. P. 153.
Officers of 1-5 FA. 1999. 1st Battalion, 5th Field Artillery Unit History. P.17.
U.S. Army National Infantry Museum. Indian wars at U.S. Army Infantry Home Page.
Viele, John. 1996. The Florida Keys: A History of the Pioneers. Sarasota, Florida: Pineapple Press.
Vocelle, James T. 1914. History of Camden County Georgia. Camden Printing Company

Seminole Treaties (cont. from chapter I)

Treaty with The Seminole
March 21, 1866
Articles of a treaty made and concluded at Washington, D.C. March 21, A.D. 1866, between the United States Government, buy its commissioners, D.N.Cooley,Commissioner of Indian Affairs, Elijah Sells, superintendent of Indian Affairs, and Ely S. Parker, and the Seminole Indians, buy their chiefs, John Chup-co, or Long John, Cho-cote-harjo, Fos-ha-jo, John F. Brown.

Whereas existing, treaties between the United States and the Seminole Nation are insufficient to meet their mutual necessities; and, whereas the Seminole Nation made a treaty with the so-called Confederate States, August 1st, 1861, whereby they threw off their allegiance to the United States, and unsettled their treaty relations with the United States, and thereby incurred the liability of forfeiture of all lands and other property held by grant of gift of the United States; and whereas a treaty of peace and amity was entered into between the United States and the Seminole and other tribes at Fort Smith, September 13, 1865, a whereby the Seminoles revoked, cancled, and repudiated the said treaty with the so-called Confederate States; and whereas the United States, through its commissioners, in said treaty of peace promised to enter into treaty with the Seminole Nation to arrange and settle all questions relating to and growing out of said treaty with the so-called Confederate States; and whereas the United States, in view of said treaty of the Seminole Nation with the enemies of the Government of the United States, and the consequent liabilities of said Seminole Nation, and in view of its urgent necessities for more land in the Indian Territory, requires a cession by said Seminole Nation of part of its present reservation, and is willing to pay therefor a reasonable price, while at the same time providing new and adequate land for them.

Now, therefore, the United States, by its commissioners aforesaid, and the above-named delegates of the Seminole Nation, the day and year above written, mutually stipulate and agree, on behalf of the respective parties, as follows, to wit;

Article I
There shall be perpetual peace between the United States and the Seminole Nation, and the Seminoles agree to be and remain firm allies of the United States, and always faithfully aid the Government thereof to supress insurrection and put down its enemies.

The Seminoles also agree to remain at peace with all other Indian tribes and with themselves. In return for these pledges of peace and friendship, the United States guarantee them quiet possession of their country, and protection against hostilities on the part of other tribes; and, in the event of such hostilities, that the tribe commencing and prosecuting the same shall make just reparation therefor. Therefore, the Seminoles agree to a military occupation of their country at the option and expense of the United States.

A general amnesty of all past offences against the laws of the United States, committed by any member of the Seminole Nation, is hereby declared; and the Seminoles, anxious for the restoration of kind and friendly feelings among themselves, do hereby declare an amnesty for all past offences against their government, and no Indian or Indians shall be proscribed or any act of forfeiture or confiscation passed against those who have remained friendly to or taken up arms against the United States, but they shall enjoy equal privileges with other members of said tribe, and all laws heretofore passed inconsistent herewith are hereby declared inoperative.

Article II
The Seminole Nation covenant that henceforth in said nation slavery shall not exist, nor involuntary servitude, except for and in punishment of crime, whereof the offending party shall first have been duly convicted in accordance with law, applicable to all the members of said nation. And inasmuch as there are among the Seminoles many persons of African descent and blood, who have no interest or property in the soil, and no recognized civil rights it is stipulated that hereafter these persons and their descendants, and such other of the same race as shall be permitted by said nation to settle there, shall have and enjoy all the rights of native citizens, and the laws of said nation shall be equally binding upon all persons of whatever race or color, who may be adopted as citizens or members of said tribe.

Article III
In compliance with the desire of the United States to locate other Indians and freedmen thereon, the Seminoles cede and convey to the United States their entire domain, being the tract of land ceded to the Seminole Indians by the Creek Nation under the provisions of article first, (1st) treaty of the United States with the Creeks and Seminoles, made and concluded at Washington, D.C., August 7, 1856. In consideration of said grant and cession of their lands, estimated at two million one hundred and sixty-nine thousand and eighty (2,169,080) acres, the United States agree to pay said Seminole Nation the sum of three hundred and twenty-five thousand three hundred and sixty-two ($325,362) dollars, said purchase being at the rate of fifteen cents per acre. The United States having obtained by grant of the Creek Nation the westerly half of their lands, hereby grant to the Seminole Nation the portion thereof hereafter described, which shall constitute the national domain of the Seminole Indians.

Said lands so granted by the United States to the Seminole Nation are bounded and described as follows, to wit:
Beginning on the Canadian River; thence up said north fork of the Canadian River a distance sufficient to make two hundred thousand acres by running due south to the Canadian River; thence down said Canadian River to the place of beginning. In consideration of said cession of two hundred thousand acres of land described above, the Seminole Nation agrees to pay therefor the price of fifty cents per acre, amounting to the sum of one hundred thousand dollars, which amount shall be deucted from the sum paid by the United States for Seminole lands under the stipulations above written. The ballance due the Seminole Nation after making said deduction, amounting to one hundred thousand dollars, the United States agree to pay in the following manner, to wit:
Thirty thousand dollars shall be paid to enable the Seminoles to occupy, restore, and improve their farms, and to make their nation independent and self-sustaining, and shall be distributed for that purpose under the direction of the Secretary of the Interior; twenty thousand dollars shall be paid in like manner for the purpose of purchasing agriculture implements, seeds, cows, and other stock; fifteen thousand dollars shall be paid for the erection of a mill suitable to accommodate said nation of Indians; seventy thousand dollars to remain in the United States Treasury, upon which the United States shall pay an annual interest of five percent; fifty thousand of said sum of seventy thousand dollars shall be a permanent school-fund, the interest of which shall be paid annually and appropriated to the support of schools; the remainder of the seventy thousand dollars, being twenty thousand dollars, shall remain a permanent fund, the interest of which shall be paid annually for the support of the Seminole government; forty thousand three hundred and sixty-two dollars shall be appropriated and expended for subsisting said Indians, discriminating in favor of the destitute; all of which amounts, excepting the seventy thousand dollars to remain in the Treaury as a permanent fund, shall be paid upon the ratification of said treaty, and disbursed in such a manner as the Secretary of the Interior may direct. The ballance, fifty thousand dollars, or so much thereof as may be necessary to pay the losses ascertained and awarded as hereinafter provided, shall be paid when said awards shall have been duly made and approved by the Secretary of the Interior. And in case said fifty thousand dollars shall be insufficient to pay all said awards, it shall be distributed pro rata to those whose claims are so allowed; and until said awards shall thus be paid, the United States agree to pay to said Indians, in such manner and for such purposes as the Secretary of the Interior may direct, interest at the rate of five per cent per annum from the date of the ratification of this treaty.

Article IV
To reimburse such members of the Seminole Nation as shall be duly adjudged to have remained loyal and faithful to their treaty relations to the United States, during the recent rebellion of the so-called Confederate States for the losses actually sustained by them thereby, after the ratification of this treaty, or so soon thereafter as the Secretary of the Interior shall direct, he shall appoint a board of commissioners, not to exceed three in number, who shall proceed to the Seminole Nation shall prepare a census or enumeration of said tribe, and make a roll of all Seminoles who did in no manner aid or abet the enemies of the Government, but remained loyal during said rebellion; and no award shall be made by said commissioners for such losses unless the name of the claiment appear on said roll, and no compensation shall be allowed any person for such losses whose name does not appear on said roll, umless said claimant, within six months from the date of the completion of said roll, furnishes proof satisfactory to said board, or to the Commissioner of Indian Affairs, that he has at all times remained loyal to the United States, according to his treaty obligations.

All evidence touching said claims shall be taken by said commissioners, or any of them, under oath, and their awards made, together with the evidence, shall be transmitted to the Commissioner of Indian Affairs, for his approval, and that of the Secretary of the Interior. Said commissioners shall be paid by the United States such compensation as the Secretary of the Interior may direct. The provisions of this article shall extend to and embrace the claims for losses sustained by loyal members of said tribe, irrespective of race or color, whether at the time of said losses the claimants shall have been in servitude or not; provided said claimants are made members of said tribe by the stipulations of this treaty.

Article V
The Seminole Nation hereby grant a right of way through their lands to any company which shall be duly authorized by Congress, and shall, with the express consent and approbation of the Secretary of the Interior, undertake to construct a railroad from any point on their easten to their western boundary; but said railroad company, together with all its agents and employees, shall be subject to the laws of the United States relating to the intercourse with Indian tribes, and also to such rules and regulations as may be prescribed by the Secretary of the Interior for that purpose. And the Seminoles agree to sell to the United States, or any company duly authorized as aforesaid, such lands, not legally owned or occupied by a member or members of the Seminole Nation lying along the line of said completed railroad, not exceeding on each side thereof a belt or strip of land three miles in width, at such price per acre as may be eventually agreed upon between said Seminole Nation and the party or parties building said road... subject to the approval of the President of the United States: Provided, however, that said land thus sold shall not be reconveyed, leased, or rented to, or be occupied by, any one not a citizen of the Seminole Nation, according to it laws and recognized usages: Provided also. that officers, servants, and employees of said railroad necessary to its construction and its management shall not be excluded from such necessary occupancy, they being subject to the provisions of the Indian-intercourse laws, and such rules and regulations as may be established by the Secretary of the Interior; nor shall any conveyance of said lands be made to the party building and managing said road, until its completion as a first-class railroad and its acceptance as such by the Secretary of the Interior.

Article VI
Inasmuch as there are no agency buildings upon the new Seminole reservation, it is therefore futher agreed that the United States shall cause to be constructed, at an expense not exceeding ten thousand (10,000) dollars, suitable agency buildings, the site whereof shall be selected by the agent of said tribe, under the direction of the superintendent of Indian Affairs; in consideration whereof, the Seminole Nation hereby relinquish and cede forever to the United States one section of their lands upon which said agency buildings shall be erected, which land shall revert to said nation when no longer used by the United States, upon said nation paying a fair value for said buildings at the time vacated.

Article VII
The Seminole Nation agrees to such legislation as Congress and the President may deem necessary for the better administration of the rights of person and property within the Indian Territory: Provided, however, that said legislation shall not in any manner interfere with or annul their present tribal organization, rights, laws, privleges, and customs.

The Seminole Nation also agree that a general council, consisting of delegates elected by each nation, a tribe lawfully resident within the Indian Territory, may be annually convened in said Territory which council shall be oragnized in such manner and possess such powers as are hereinafter described:

1st. After the ratification of this treaty, and as soon as may be deemed practicable by the Secretary of the Interior, and prior to the first session of said council, a census of each tribe lawfully resident in said Territory shall be taken, under the direction of the superin-tendent of Indian Affairs, who, for that purpose, is hereby authorized to designate and appoint competent persons, whose compensation shall be fixed by the Secretary of the Interior and paid by the United States.

2nd. The first general council shall consist of one member from each tribe, and an additional member for each one thousand Indians, or each fraction of a thousand greater than five hundred, being members of any tribe lawfully resident in said Territory, and shall be elected by said tribes, respectively, who may assent to the establishment of said general council; and if none should be thus formally selected by any nation or tribe, the said nation or tribe shall be represented in said general council by the chiefs and head-men of said tribes, to be taken in the order of their rank, in the same number and propor-tion as above indicated. After the said census shall have been taken and completed, the superintendent of Indian Affairs shall publish and declare to each tribe the number of members of  said council to which they shall be entitled under the provisions of this article; and the persons so entitled to represent said tribe shall meet at such time and place as he shall appoint; but thereafter the time and place of the session of said council shall be determined by its action: Provided, That no session in any one year shall exceed the term of thirty days, And provided that special sessions of said council may be called by said supertindent whenever, in his judgment, or that of the Secretary of the Interior, the interest of said tribes shall require.

3rd. Said general council shall have the power to legislate upon all rightful subjects and matters pertaining to the intercourse and relations of the Indian tribes and nations resident in said Territory; the arrest and extradition of criminals and offenders escaping from one tribe to another; the administration of justice between members of the several tribes of said Territory, and persons other than Indians and members of said tribes or nations; the construction of works of internal improvment and the common defence and safety of the nation of said Territory. All laws enacted by said council shall take effect at such time as may therein be provided, unless suspended by direction of the Secretary of the Interior or the President of the United States. No law shall be enacted inconsistent with the Constitution of the United States, or the laws of the Congress, or existing treaty stipulations with the United States; nor shall said council legislate upon matters pertaining to the organization , laws, or customs of the several tribes except as herein provided for.

4th. Said council shall be presided over by the superintendent of Indian Affairs, or, in case of his absence for any cause, the duties of said superintendent enumerated in this article shall be performed by such person as the Secretary of the Interior may direct.

5th. The Secretary of the Interior shall appoint a secretary of said council, whose duty it shall be to keep an accurate record of all the proceedings of said council, and who shall transmit a true copy of all such proceedings, duly certified by the superintendent of Indian Affairs, to the Secretary of the Interior immediately after the session of said council. He shall be paid out of the Treasury of the United States an annual salary of five hundred dollars.

6th. The members pf said council shall be paid by the United States the sum of four dollars pre diem during the time actually in attendance upon the sessions of said council, and at the rate of four dollars for every twenty miles necessarily traveled by them in going to said council and returning to their homes, respectively, to be certified by the secretary of the said council and the superintendent of Indian Affairs.

7th. The Seminoles also agree that a court or courts may be established in said Territory, with such jurisdiction and organized in such manner as Congress may by law provide.

Article VIII
The stipulations of this treaty are to be a full settlement of all claims of said Seminole Nation for damages and losses of every kind growing out of the late rebellion, and all expenditures by the United States of annuities in clothing and feeding refugee and destitue Indians since the diversion of annuities for that purpose, consequent upon the late war with the so-called Confederate States. And the Seminoles hereby ratify and confirm all such diversions of annuities heretofore made from the funds of the Seminole Nation by the United States. And, the United States agree that no annuities shall be diverted from the object for which they were originally devoted by treaty stipulations, with the Seminoles, to the use of refugee and destitute Indians, other than the Seminoles or members of the Seminole Nation, after the close of the present fiscal year, June thirtieth, eighteen hundred and sixty-six.

Article IX
The United States re-affirms and reassumes all obligations of treaty stipulations entered into before the treaty of said Seminole Nation with the so-called Confederate States, August first, eighteen hundred and sixty-one, not inconsistent herewith; and futher agree to renew all payments of annuities by force of said treaty stipulations, from and after the close of the present fiscal year, June thirtieth, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-six, except as is provided in article eight (viii).

Article X
A quantity of land not exceeding six hundred and forty acres, to be selected according to legal subdivisions, in one body, and which shall include their improvements, is hereby granted to every religious society or denomination which has erected, or which, with the consent of the Indians, may hereafter erect, buildings within the Seminole country for missionary or educational purposes; but no land is thus granted, nor the buildings which have been or may be erected thereon, shall ever be sold or otherwise disposed of except with the consent and approval of the Secretary of the Interior. And whenever any such land or buildings shall be so sold or disposed of, the proceeds thereof shall be applied, under the direction of the Secretary of the Interior, to the support and maintenance of other similar establishments for the benefit of the Seminoles and such other persons as may be, or may hereafter become, members of the tribe according to its laws, customs, and usages.

Article XI
It is futher agreed that all treaties heretofore entered into between the United States and the Seminole Nation which are inconsistent with any of the articles or provisions of this treaty shall be, and are hereby, rescinded and annuled.

In tetimony whereof, the said Dennis N. Cooley, Commissioner of Indian Affairs, Elijah Sells, superintendent of Indian Affairs, and Col. Ely S. Parker, as aforesaid, and the undersigned, persons representing the Seminole Nation, have hereunto set their hands and seals the day and year first above written.

Dennis N. Cooley, [SEAL] Commissionar of Indian Affairs.
Elijah Sells, [SEAL] Superintendent of Indian Affairs.
Col. Ely S. Parker, [SEAL] Special commissioner.
John Chup-co, his x mark, [SEAL] King or head chief.
Cho-cote-harjo, his x mark, [SEAL] Counselor.
Fos-harjo, his x mark, chief, [SEAL]
John F. Brown, [SEAL] Special delegate for Southern Seminoles.

In presence fof_
Robert Johnson, his x mark.
United States interpreter for Seminole Indians.
Geo. A. Reynolds, United States Indian Agent for Seminoles.
Ok-tus-har-jo, his x mark, or sands.
Cow-e-to-me-ko, his x mark.
Che-chu-chee, his x mark.
Harry Island, his x mark.
United States interpreter for Creek Indians.
J.W. Dunn, United States Indian Agent for the Creek Nation.
Perry Fuller.
Signed by John F. Brown, special delegate for the Southern Seminoles, in presence of, this June thirtieth, eighteen hundred and sisty-six.
W.R. Irwin
J.M. Tebbetts.
Geo. A. Reynolds, United States Indian Agent.
Robert Johnson, his x mark, United States interpreter.

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