Blog Post

Sources Regarding the Seminole War

It’s difficult to find primary sources related to the Seminole War. At least it was for me. The first thing and the most popular thing that was found were militia rosters in the United States army. These listed names, ages, heights, the soldier’s hometown, and some additional information. This is marginally useful at least to me because although it shows who was fighting in the war and where it only gave a one-sided view with little useful facts about why the war began or other things related to that. From the roster list, we know that there was a Florida militia and most people fighting in the conflict were very young.

There are also letters from white people who give a more detailed account of the war although it is once again one-sided. These give details about the battles such as the letter from Richard Call to C.C. Clay which discusses the current state of Florida. In addition to this Richard Call discusses that with the forces in Alabama and Georgia that they will be able to force the Native Americans back and they will escape to the Florida Peninsula. The last letter is from Charles Francis McCay and is criticizing a General’s campaign against the Seminoles in Florida and says that the Cherokee ratification treaty will push the tribes to fight because they don’t support it while Congress does. One thing these sources tell me is that a big conflict was occurring in Florida since this was the land the U.S. was trying to take. In addition to this, they tell me that Native Americans were pushed to fight when Congress passed a treaty that took their land. Another source is an illustration of Andrew Jackson from 1818 after he took control of U.S. troops in Florida. He played a leading role in the conflict and shows how his role in the war, affected his policy towards Native Americans later on.