American Indian War in history took place. On well hidden islands remote
from the borders, a number of chiefs had their headquarters. Arpeika, known
as Sam-Jones-Be-Damned, was one of these. He was a skillful navigator of
the Everglades, knew all of the secret pages, and cultivated fields in the most
inaccessible and remote places. Another was Otulke-Thlocko, the Prophet,
who through his pretended cures, fortune telling and flamboyant dress,
exercised an incredible influence ever chief, warrior and woman, alike. He
was colorful but cowardly and his followers eventually lost faith in him and
fear of him. Chakika was another. Six feet tall and weighing 200 pounds, he
was considered the largest Indian in Florida.
The Government imported a Cherokee delegation from Arkansas
to persuade the Seminole to emigrate, but it failed miserably. Angry,
General Thomas S. Jesup sent orders to General Zachary Taylor, stationed
at Tampa Bay, to proceed without delay against any part of the enemy
within striking distance.
Taylor, with a force of 800 regulars and volunteers, set out in the
direction of Lake Okeechobee. Here it was said that Sam Jones and all
his forces were encamped. This same Sam Jones had sent word to
General Jesup a short time before that he "had never signed a treaty and
never would; that he and his people would fight it out forever."