The History Book Club discussion


Comments (showing 1-10 of 10) (10 new)    post a comment »
dateDown arrow    newest »

message 1: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 31963 comments Mod
This is the thread to discuss the First Seminole War.

The War of 1812, 1817-1818

In the early 18th century, bands of Muskogean-speaking Lower Creek migrated to Florida from Georgia. They became known as the Seminole (literally "separatists"). Floridian territory was nominally under Spanish sway; the Spanish permitted the Seminole to settle there in order to create a buffer zone between their sphere of influence and that of the British.

The natives occupied rich lands in northern Florida that were hungrily eyed by American settlers in adjacent Georgia, although Florida still belonged to Spain at the beginning of the 19th century. Another cause of potential conflict was the Seminole tendency to provide refuge to runaway slaves.

While the United States was fighting the War of 1812 with Britain, a series of violent incidents aggravated hostility between the U.S. and the Seminole.

The First Seminole War erupted over forays staged by U.S. authorities to recapture runaway black slaves living among Seminole bands, who stiffly resisted. In 1818, Major General Andrew Jackson was dispatched with an army of more than 3,000 soldiers to Florida to punish the Seminole. After liquidating several native settlements, then executing two British traders held for reportedly encouraging Seminole resolve, General Jackson captured the Spanish fort of Pensacola in May 1818 and deposed the government. However, he failed to snuff out Seminole opposition. Two more wars ensued (1835-1842), (1855-1858), which ultimately resulted in confiscation of the Seminoles' land for white settlement and exploitation.

Source: The United States History

Other Links:

The First Seminole War (1817-1818)


The Seminole Wars

Source: Exploring Florida

message 2: by Bryan, Honorary Contributor - EMERITUS (new)

Bryan Craig | 11648 comments Mod
Here is a title:

Andrew Jackson and His Indian Wars by Robert V. Remini by Robert V. Remini

Publisher's Weekly:
"I want to assure the reader that it is not my intention to excuse or exonerate Andrew Jackson for the role he played in the removal of Native Americans west of the Mississippi River. My purpose is simply to explain what happened and why": so writes Remini, who won the National Book Award for his three-volume biography of the seventh president. This provocative book is sure to create controversy for scholars, the Native American community and lay historians, among others. Jackson was the president who "removed" the five "civilized" tribes from the South and forced them westward across the Mississippi River. Existing studies portray Jackson as a villain. Not so, says Remini, who examines Jackson's life to show that he was a product of his age, nothing more, nothing less. Indian tribes sided with the British during the Revolution, then repeatedly confronted the first generation of settlers who moved into the western frontier Kentucky, Tennessee, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi. Jackson vaulted to national prominence when he bloodily crushed the British-allied Creek tribe in 1814 during the War of 1812. Then, with or without presidential approval, Southern District Commander Jackson invaded Spanish-held Florida; acting as an "Indian commissioner," he proceeded to lever indigenous people off their ancestral lands in exchange for territory farther west. The idea, Remini says, was first espoused by Thomas Jefferson and was supported by the vast majority of frontier Americans. Despite or, indeed, because of its grave, catastrophic results, Jackson's policy deserves to be judged in light of early 19th-century America, argues Remini. He further contends that Jackson's removal policy may have actually saved the tribes from being exterminated. Expert reviewers, pundits and descendants may feel otherwise.

message 3: by 'Aussie Rick' (new)

'Aussie Rick' (AussieRick) Nice post Bryan and it looks like a very interesting book.

I have read one of this author's books before, "The Battle of New Orleans: Andrew Jackson and America's First Military Victory" and if I recall he is considered an expert of Andrew Jackson?

The Battle of New Orleans Andrew Jackson and America's First Military Victory by Robert V. Remini by Robert V. Remini

message 4: by Bryan, Honorary Contributor - EMERITUS (last edited Oct 20, 2010 05:47AM) (new)

Bryan Craig | 11648 comments Mod
'Aussie Rick' wrote: "Nice post Bryan and it looks like a very interesting book.

I have read one of this author's books before, "The Battle of New Orleans: Andrew Jackson and America's First Military Victory" and if ..."

Hi A.R.:

Yes, Robert V. Remini is considered the leading authority on Andrew Jackson. I pick up just about everything he writes.

message 5: by Bryan, Honorary Contributor - EMERITUS (new)

Bryan Craig | 11648 comments Mod
Florida's Seminole Wars, 1817-1858

Florida's Seminole Wars 1817-1858 (Making of America) by Joe Knetsch by Joe Knetsch (no photo)


Among the most well known of Florida's native peoples, the Seminole Indians frustrated troops of militia and volunteer soldiers for decades during the first half of the nineteenth century in the ongoing struggle to keep hold of their ancestral lands. While careers and reputations of American military and political leaders were made and destroyed in the mosquito-infested swamps of Florida's interior, the Seminoles and their allies, including the Miccosukee tribe and many escaped slaves, managed to wage war on their own terms. The study of guerrilla warfare tactics employed by the Seminoles may have aided modern American forces fighting in Viet Nam, Cambodia, and other regions.

Years before the first shots of the Civil War were fired, Florida witnessed a clash of wills and ways that prompted three wars unlike any others in America's history, although many of the same policies and mistakes were made in the Indian wars west of the Mississippi.

message 6: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (last edited Aug 01, 2013 11:19AM) (new)

Bentley | 31963 comments Mod
Greg said : Many people who fought in the Seminole War went west. Many who were already out west got called back to fight in the conflict.

-----------about John Mullan and his road, and he was one who got pulled back to fight in it. It delayed the building of his road from the Upper Reaches of the Missouri River to Washington Territory by a good five years

Greg - the self promotion thing

message 7: by Jerome (new)

Jerome | 3528 comments Osceola and the Great Seminole War: A Struggle for Justice and Freedom

Osceola and the Great Seminole War A Struggle for Justice and Freedom by Thom Hatch by Thom Hatch (no photo)


The biography of Osceola, the revered Native American warrior who led the resistance against U.S. troops during the Great Seminole WarWhen he died in 1838, Seminole warrior Osceola was the most famous Native American in the world. Born a Creek, Osceola was driven from his home to Florida by General Andrew Jackson where he joined the Seminole tribe. Their paths would cross again when President Jackson signed the Indian Removal Act that would relocate the Seminoles to hostile lands and lead to the return of the slaves who had joined their tribe. Outraged Osceola declared war. This vivid history recounts how Osceola led the longest, most expensive, and deadliest war between the U.S. Army and Native Americans and how he captured the imagination of the country with his quest for justice and freedom. Insightful, meticulously researched, and thrillingly told, Thom Hatch’s account of the Great Seminole War is an accomplished work that finally does justice to this great leader.

message 8: by Jerome (new)

Jerome | 3528 comments Hunted Like a Wolf: The Story of the Seminole War

Hunted Like a Wolf The Story of the Seminole War by Milton Meltzer by Milton Meltzer (no photo)


A landmark work on one of the most important, but least written about Indian Wars, Hunted Like a Wolf chronicles the Second Seminole War. From 1835 to 1842, Washington waged a violent war upon the Seminole and their allies in Florida, using any measure, including treachery and fraud, to drive them from their lands. A ragged, starving handful of guerrillas, the Seminole Indians and blacks managed to resist against the invading American army ten times their number, defying the skill of six eminent generals. Respected historian Milton Meltzer explores the choices facing the Seminole as whites gradually encroached on their land, and the sacrifices they made in choosing to resist. The Second Seminole War was a war over slavery as well as territory, for living among the Seminole were black men and women--some runaway slaves, some free--willing to fight alongside their Indian brothers for the territory they considered their own. The war was longest of the Indians Wars, and the costliest in money and human life. But most importantly, in the story of the Seminole War can be seen all the forces of America's terrible racial history, the consequences of which we are only beginning to understand.

message 9: by Jerome (new)

Jerome | 3528 comments Swamp Sailors in the Second Seminole War

Swamp Sailors in the Second Seminole War by George E. Buker by George E. Buker (no photo)


The Indian Removal Act of 1830 led to the Second Seminole War, fought by the United States to evict the Seminoles from the Florida Territory. When the last surviving Seminoles sought refuge in the Everglades and resorted to guerrilla-style tactics, however, the U.S. Navy found its standard strategies of guerre de course and gunboat coastal defense useless.

For the first time in its history, the American Navy was forced to operate in a nonmaritime environment. In Swamp Sailors, George Buker describes how Navy junior officers outshone their commanders, proving themselves less resistant to change and more ready to implement novel strategies, including joint combat operations and maneuvers designed specifically for a riverine environment.

By 1842, when the Second Seminole War was halted, Lt. John McLaughlin’s "Mosquito Fleet" exemplified the Navy’s new expertise by making use of canoes and flat-bottomed boats and by putting together small, specially trained joint combat teams of Army and Navy personnel for sustained land-sea operations.

message 10: by Jerome (new)

Jerome | 3528 comments An upcoming book:
Release date: April 6, 2015

Border Law: The First Seminole War and American Nationhood

Border Law The First Seminole War and American Nationhood by Deborah A Rosen by Deborah A Rosen (no photo)


The First Seminole War of 1816-1818 played a critical role in shaping how the United States demarcated its spatial and legal boundaries during the early years of the republic. Rooted in notions of American exceptionalism, manifest destiny, and racism, the legal framework that emerged from the war laid the groundwork for the Monroe Doctrine, the Dred Scott decision, and U.S. westward expansion over the course of the nineteenth century, as Deborah Rosen explains in Border Law.

When General Andrew Jackson s troops invaded Spanish-ruled Florida in the late 1810s, they seized forts, destroyed towns, and captured or killed Spaniards, Britons, Creeks, Seminoles, and African-descended people. As Rosen shows, Americans vigorously debated these aggressive actions and raised pressing questions about the rights of wartime prisoners, the use of military tribunals, the nature of sovereignty, the rules for operating across territorial borders, the validity of preemptive strikes, and the role of race in determining legal rights. Proponents of Jackson's Florida campaigns claimed a place for the United States as a member of the European diplomatic community while at the same time asserting a regional sphere of influence and new rules regarding the application of international law.

American justifications for the incursions, which allocated rights along racial lines and allowed broad leeway for extraterritorial action, forged a more unified national identity and set a precedent for an assertive foreign policy.

back to top

unread topics | mark unread

Books mentioned in this topic

Andrew Jackson and His Indian Wars (other topics)
The Battle of New Orleans: Andrew Jackson and America's First Military Victory (other topics)
Florida's Seminole Wars 1817-1858 (other topics)
Osceola and the Great Seminole War: A Struggle for Justice and Freedom (other topics)
Hunted Like a Wolf: The Story of the Seminole War (other topics)

Authors mentioned in this topic

Robert V. Remini (other topics)
Joe Knetsch (other topics)
Thom Hatch (other topics)
Milton Meltzer (other topics)
George E. Buker (other topics)