Thomas Sidney Jesup and the Second Seminole War (Part One)

General Thomas Sidney Jesup commanded military operations against the Seminoles in Florida during the early stages of the conflict now known as the Second Seminole War (1835-1842). The Second Seminole War was the longest and costliest American Indian War in American history. Jesup’s field diary, available on Florida Memory, contains his perspective on the war from October 1, 1836, to May 30, 1837. This series of blog posts places significant entries from the Jesup diary in the context of the Seminole Wars and the history of Anglo-American Indian-African relations in the American South. Below is the first post in the series.

“Assumed the command of the troops south of the Withlacoochee.”

“Assumed the command of the troops south of the Withlacoochee.”

The Secretary of War ordered General Thomas Sidney Jesup to Florida in October 1836. In this entry, he acknowledged the beginning of his service in Florida. However, this was not his first experience with American Indian warfare. Prior to receiving these orders, Jesup was deployed in a military campaign against the Creek Indians in Alabama and Georgia. Tensions erupted in violence in the Creek Country as white settlers encroached upon Indian lands.

The lands in question had been guaranteed to the Creeks under the treaties of Fort Jackson (1814) and Indian Springs (1821 and 1825). The Treaty of Fort Jackson formally ended the Red Stick War (1813-1814), which began as a civil war among the Creeks. After an attack on Fort Mims, north of Mobile, Alabama, by the rebel Creeks, Andrew Jackson and militia from Tennessee joined the Creeks friendly to the United States. Jackson’s entry into the war contributed to the eventual defeat of the rebel Creeks, or Red Sticks, at the Battle of Horseshoe Bend. Shortly thereafter, Jackson arranged a punitive treaty that resulted in the transfer of over 14 million acres of Creek land to the United States.

Two other agreements took place between the Creeks and the United States in 1821 and 1825 at Indian Springs. The Creek leader William McIntosh, also known as Tustunnugee Hutkee, and his faction received allotments of land for themselves, while at the same time ceding control of much of what remained of the Creek Country. In April 1825, Creeks who opposed the treaty killed McIntosh and others in his party for signing the agreements. Settlers and land speculators flooded into the Creek territory following the second Treaty of Indian Springs. In several instances, armed confrontations occurred between Creeks and settlers. These confrontations led to the outbreak of the Second Creek War (the Red Stick War is considered the First Creek War).

In 1836, Creeks hostile to the United States launched a series of attacks against white settlements. The state governments of Georgia and Alabama demanded protection against what they considered unwarranted Indian depredations. As a result of these pleas for assistance, Thomas Sidney Jesup arrived to subdue the rebel Creeks.

The Second Creek War ended shortly after it began. The majority of Creeks were evicted from their lands and forced to emigrate to the Indian Territory west of the Mississippi River. Only a few families remained in the east. In the 20th century, this small band gained federal recognition as the Poarch Band of Creek Indians.

Ormond Beach, Main Street Community of the Month for October 2012!

Congratulations to Ormond Beach, Main Street Community of the Month for October 2012! Learn more about the Florida Main Street Program.

Horse-drawn railroad car, Ormond Beach (ca. 1900)

Horse-drawn railroad car, Ormond Beach (ca. 1900)

Ormond Beach in February (ca. 1895)

Ormond Beach in February (ca. 1895)

Horse-drawn omnibus on Ormond Beach (ca. 1890)

Horse-drawn omnibus on Ormond Beach (ca. 1890)

Looking down the pier at the Ormond Hotel (1930s)

Looking down the pier at the Ormond Hotel (1930s)

A New and Accurate Map of East and West Florida

On this date in 1763, King George III of England issued a royal proclamation that, among other things, divided Florida into two provinces, East and West, separated by the Apalachicola/Chattahoochee Rivers.

The British controlled Florida from 1763-1783, when, following the American Revolution, the Treaty of Paris in 1783 returned Florida to Spanish control until it became a territory of the United States in 1821.

A New and Accurate Map of East and West Florida (1763)

A New and Accurate Map of East and West Florida (ca. 1763)

 

Butterfly!

Monarch butterfly on Pentas flower at the Butterfly World attraction: Coconut Creek, Florida (July 1996)

Monarch butterfly on Pentas flower at the Butterfly World attraction: Coconut Creek, Florida (July 1996)

Zebra Longwing, the State Butterfly of Florida

Zebra Longwing, the State Butterfly of Florida

Emerald Swallowtail (Papilio Palinurus) butterfly at the Butterfly World attraction: Coconut Creek, Florida (February 1992)

Emerald Swallowtail (Papilio Palinurus) butterfly at the Butterfly World attraction: Coconut Creek, Florida (February 1992)

Genealogy Resources on Florida Memory

Looking for your relatives on Florida Memory? Several of our online collections provide excellent materials for researching genealogy and family history.

Did your relatives serve in World War I? Were they from Florida, or entered the service while in Florida? On Florida Memory, you can search for their World War I Service Cards.

World War I Service Card for Albert McLeod Bethune, son of Mary McLeod Bethune

World War I Service Card for Albert McLeod Bethune, son of Mary McLeod Bethune

Did your relatives serve for the Confederate Army during the Civil War? Were they from Florida, or lived in Florida after the war? You can search for their Confederate Pension Applications on Florida Memory.

Confederate Pension Application for Joseph H. Haddock of Duval County, submitted by his wife Martha Haddock

Confederate Pension Application for Joseph H. Haddock of Duval County, submitted by his wife Martha Haddock

Did your family live in Florida before the United States took control of the territory in 1821? On Florida Memory, you can find Spanish Land Grant claims. These records represent claims made for land purchased in Florida from the Spanish government prior to 1821.

Confirmed claim of Reuben Hogan

Confirmed claim of Reuben Hogan

Photographs are a great resource on family history. We have over 170,000 photographs available online, some of which contain unidentified persons. Perhaps your relative is waiting to be identified on Florida Memory? Search the Florida Photographic Collection.

Portrait of an unidentified family: Gainesville (ca. 1900)

Portrait of an unidentified family: Gainesville (ca. 1900)

Found a great photo or document from your family’s history on Florida Memory? Share it with us in the comments.

Carnac the Magnificent

Fifty years ago today, Johnny Carson made his debut as host of The Tonight Show. The talk show featured comedy monologues and guest interviews with political, film and music personalities. More than 50 million people tuned in for the show’s finale in 1992 when the “King of Late Night” ended his 30 year reign.

Ed McMahon and Johnny Carson: Fort Lauderdale (ca. 1968)

Ed McMahon and Johnny Carson: Fort Lauderdale (ca. 1968)

Johnny Carson, Governor Claude Kirk and Dick Pope at Cypress Gardens: Winter Haven (May 4, 1968)

Johnny Carson, Governor Claude Kirk and Dick Pope at Cypress Gardens: Winter Haven (May 4, 1968)