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1 Creek Schism: Seminole Genesis Revisited by Philip C. Hawkins A thesis submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Arts Department of History College of Arts and Science University of South Florida Major P rofessor: John M. Belohlavek Ph.D. Philip Levy, Ph.D Fraser Ottanelli, Ph.D. Date of Approval: April 6 2009 Keywords: E thnogenesis, Cimarrones, French and Indian War, Spanish Florida, Cowkeeper Copyright 2009 Philip C. Hawkins
1 DEDI CATION Go rdy and Debby
1 ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS To begin acknowledg ing the many people that helped in the production of this work is a difficult task None of this would have been possible without the encouragement of the history department at the University of South F lorida, Saint Petersburg campus At a time of uncertainty, many professors gave me the words of encourage ment and inspir ation that ultimately led me to continue researching history at a graduate level. Gary Mormino deserves special thanks. It was during on e of his undergraduate seminars on Florida history that my interest and research in early Seminole history began to take shape. Man y professors at the Tampa campus of USF worked closely with me on this project. I cannot give enough thanks to Phil Levy, Fra ser Ottanelli, and my advisor John Belohovek for all of their help They were incredibl y patient and open minded commentators, critics, and listeners. I am also grateful for the assistance of the many people outside of USF. John Worth, Steven Hahn, and J oshua Piker deserve special thanks for taking the time to answer my co mments, questions, and concerns even though they had no obligation to provide such aid. I would also like to thank the entire staff at the P.K. Yonge Library of Florida History. This pro ject would have been inconceivable without their esoteric knowledge and assistance Lastly, I cannot express enough thanks to my family, friends, and loved ones, especially my parents Gordy and Debby.
i TABLE OF CONTENTS LIST OF FIGURES ii ABSTRACT iii INTRODUCTION 1 CHAPTER ONE: LOS SIMARRONES 15 A Crisis on the Chattahoochee 18 The Politi c al Economy of Hunting Parties 30 eet and Very Delica 3 9 CHAPTER TWO: THE MASK OF DIPLOMACY 52 The Faade 5 7 egend 6 7 70 The Second Transfer 73 The Hapless Wanderings of William Augustus Bowles 1788 7 9 CONCLUSIONS : SEMINOLE GENESIS ON TRIAL 8 7 BIBLIOGRAPHY 9 8
ii LIST OF FIGURES Figure 1. A M ap of Lower Creek To wns, 1757 13 Figure 2. A Map of Florida 14
iii Creek Schism: Seminole Genesis Revisited Philip C. Hawkins ABSTRACT T his work reevaluate s commonly accepted interpretations of Seminole ethnogenesis i n light of recent scholarship and previously ign ored so urces from the Spanish archives It argues that Seminole formation was largely a bi product of a struggle between two opposing Lower Creek factions: the Creek nationalists and the osten sive Creek T h is factional struggle became i ncreasingly bitter d uring the French and Indian War and ultimately led to a schism whereby t he ostensive partisans of the British coloniz e d of the Alachua savanna in the early 1760s to bec o me recognized as the first Florida Seminoles. This work also raises questions about the ostensive A nglophile identity of the first Seminoles and suggests that such an identity was based largely on deception and theatrics. In closing, this work addresses the institutional basis of the myth of Seminole aboriginality.
1 INTRODUCTION Like moths to a flame, the phenomenon of genesis ignites the curiosity of historians, draws them in closer, and ultimately consumes them. What were the origins of the Salem witch trials, American slavery, the First World War, or countless other phenomena? Such questions vex historians as much as they inspire them. In Native American studies, o ne is pressed to find a tale of origin more alluring than the ethnogenesis of the Florida Seminoles, defined here as the formation of group distinctness in a sociopolitical sense. Seminole genesis has attr acted such respected scholars as Colin Calloway, James Covington, James Doster, Howard Cline, Charles Fairbanks, John Goggin, Joshua Piker, Patrick Riordan, Richard Sattler, William Sturtevant, John Swanton, Brent Weisman, Patricia Wickman, and J. Leitch W right. Perhaps timing contributes mightily to the popularity of Seminole origin studies. In the words of William Sturtevant, "t he tribe is an entirely post European phenomenon, a replacement by Creek settlers [from present day Georgia and Alabama] of the Florida aborigines whom they eliminated in frontier m ilitary campaigns growing of antagonism s between European powers." John Missall and Mary Lou Missall explain ed the lure of
2 ther 1 Despite the abundance of literature on Seminole ethnogenesis, a new study is warranted for a number of reasons. First, unlike the majority of the already menti oned authors, the present work reaps the benefits of a recent explosion of scholarship on Creek political culture, including the works of Steven Hahn, John Hann, Vernon Knight Jr., Joshua Piker, and John Worth. These recent studies have not only transforme d the way historians look at the Creeks, but also their Florida offshoots, the Seminoles. In short, previous scholarship on the Seminoles has become seminal scholarship. Secondly, previous works on the early Seminoles have underutilized the Spanish archive s. From my time at one of the great North American storehouses of Spanish records, the P.K. Yonge Library of Florida History in Gainesville, Florida, I have uncovered many previously ignored documents that cast Seminole formation in a new light. Such docum ents, for instance, clearly show that the Seminole Creeks established permanent settlements in Florida years later than scholars have believed: the 1760s. 2 Prior to that decade the Spaniards explicitly and repeatedly referred to seasonal Creek caserias (h unting parties), not permanent villages or towns. Such a revelation not only 1 North American Indians in Historical Perspective ed. Eleanor Burke Leacock and Nancy Oestreich Lurie (New York: Random House, 1971), 92; John Missall and Mary Lou Missall, The Seminole Wars: America's Longest Indian Conflict (Gainesville: University Press of Florida, 2004), 3. 2 For previous periodization models, see Brent Weisman, Like Beads on a String: A Cultural History of the Seminole Indians in Northern Peninsular Florida (Tuscaloosa: University of Alabama Press, 1989) 37; is: Native Americans, African Americans, and Colonists on State University, 1996), 6 ; Jerald T. Milanich, Archaeology of Precolumbian Florida (Gainesville: University Presses of Florida, 1994) xvi.
3 helps to explain why archaeologists have been unable to unearth Seminole artifacts prior to the 1760s, but it also calls for an entirely new periodization of early Seminole histor y. 3 Like many of the above listed authors, t he chief aim of this work is to uncover the structure of Seminole genesis, its temporal development, and its inevitable problems. Yet if this study has any underlying reprise, it is that identity is steeped in pe rceptions of difference. T his maxim applies as easily to the eighteenth century actors found in these read as a critique of previous scholarship, in particularly, those authors that insist th at Seminole genesis was an arbitrary European invention. James F. Doster best articulated this line of thought when he argued that "t he difference between the [Seminole] Indians in Florida and the other Creeks was something forced by white men over the vio lent objections of the Indians." 4 The arbitrary European invention model is premised on the belief that the Creek great distance from their declaring their secession." 5 By extension, Creek splinter groups posed a categorical 3 For lack of archaeological evidence of an earlier colonization, see Ethno Tacachale: Essays on the Indians of Florida and Southeastern Georgia during the Historic Period ed. Jerald T. Milanich and Samuel Proctor (Gainesville: University Press of Florida, 1978), 167; Weisman, Like Beads on a String 38 39; John M. Goggin, Time Perspective in Northern S t. Johns Archeology, Florida (Gainesville: University Press of Florida, 1998), 62; Also see John Goggin's testimony in Indian Claims Commission, Seminole Indians of Florida vs. United States (Rex Quinn Papers, PK Yonge Library of Florida History), 125 4 James F. Doster, The Creek Indians and Their Florida Lands, 1740 1823 (New York: Garland Publishing Inc., 1974), 272. 5 Colin G. Calloway, The American Revolution in Indian Country: Crisis and Diversity in Native American Communities (New York: Cambridge University Press, 1995), 247 ("loose," "flexible ,"
4 problem to Europeans, not the natives. In the words of John Missall and Mary Lou Missall, although "t he imaginary line drawn between Florida and Georgia me ant little to s were a European 6 Seminole beginnings that is, the naming of sociopolitical groups by the group themselves or by outsiders. The subscribers of the arbitrary European invention model are quick to point was derived from the Spanish word Cimarron A brief English tra nslation is the adjective but the Spaniards generally used the term in reference to animals or fugitive or runaway. 7 For instance, a sixteenth century Spanish historian of the New World, Gonzalo Fernndez de Oviedo y Valds (1478 1557), rela ted that innumerable numbers of domestic cats and pigs brought from Spain had escaped into the forests and mountains of or cimarrones. The Spaniards also used Cimarron to refer to runaway African slaves that formed distant communities in the "voluntary," and "secession") ; Forgotten Centuries: Indians and Europeans in the American South, 1521 1704 ed. Charles Hudson (Athens: University of Georgia Press, 1994), 386 ("conditional") ; Problem of Creek Indian Politic Human Problems in Technological Change, A Casebook ed. Edward Holland Spicer (New York: Russell Sage Foundation, 1952), 166 ("loose") ; Joshua Piker, Okfuskee: A Creek Indian Town in Colonial America (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2004), 3 ("fluid" and "conditional") 6 Missall and M issall, The Seminole Wars 3, 7, 10. 7 Language 14, no. 2 (1938): 145 147
5 difficult to reach mountains or forests of the New World. (The English later borrowed this term to refer to a similar phenomenon in their colonies, but in the process, the Similarly, Spani s h colonists also mission system where they were kept in a near slave like position. In Florida, many mission Indians lost Indios Simarrone s, either joining the unconverted or living in camps on the fringes of the mission system. Spanish authorities frequently sent out expeditions to capture these fugitives and bring them back into the fold. T he frequent Indios Simarrone s declined with the number of mission Indians following eighteenth century. 8 The assumption of the arbitrary European invention model is that the Florida Indios Simarrone s, or wild Indians. According to soon felt the need to create a name for this newly evolved tribe. Perhaps because of their ferocity or independence, the Spanish t ook to calling them Cimarrones. Patricia Wickman argued th at C im arron was "heard and arbitrarily borrowed by the English" from the Spaniards after Florida was transferred from Spanish to British rule in 1763 and "t hese English speakers, and writers, set the stage for the transliteration of Spanish discourse sy stem s into English discourse system s and for the documentary metamorphosis of cimarrones into Seminoles." Thus according 8 Gonzalo F ernndez de Oviedo y Valds, Historia General y Natural de la Indias vol. 2 (Asuncion del Paraguay: Editorial Guarania, 1944), 146 147 For "Indios Simarrones," see John H. Hann, A History of the Timucua Indians and Missions (Gainesville: University Press of Florida, 1996), 114, 191, 240, 243, 279 ; Florida Historical Quarterly 70 (April 1992): 451 474, especially 460 462
6 to the arbitrary European invention model, Seminole is, in the words of Charles Fairbanks in part at least a result of British intrigues 9 The arbitrar y European invention model is problematic at several levels especially its specious argument about ethnonymy First, t he underutilized Spanish records do not support the thesis. The Spaniards ref erred to the Seminoles by many names; including enemies, barbarians, infidels, and so forth, but not once did they ever Indios Simarrone s, nor could they Given the rules of usage, the Spaniards Indios Si marrone s. After all, the Spaniards never domesticated the Creek Seminoles, nor did the Creek Seminoles runaway from the Spaniards. Furthermore the arbitrary European invention model fails to adequately explain the morphology of Cimarron into Seminole. Th e linguist William Sturtevant i ncorporated into their lexicon. In the process of incorporation, the Creeks transformed Cimarron into Seminole on account of th According John Hann, this metamorphosis "d oes indeed indicate the the translators of Lower Creek officials, who nee ded a word to deride the unmanageable section of their own people. 10 9 Missall and Missall, The Seminole Wars 3, 7, 10 Patricia Riles Wickman, The Tree that Bends: Discourse, Power, and the Su rvival of the Maskoki People (Tuscaloosa: University of Alabama Press, 1999), 196 197 Charles H. Fairbanks, Ethnohistorical Report on the Florida Indians Florida Indians III (New York: Garland Publishing, 1974), 146 10 John H. Hann, The Native American World Beyond Apalachee: West Florida and the Chattahoochee Valley (Gainesville: University Press of Florida 2006), 191 ; William C. Sturtevant, Ethnohistory 9 (Winter 1962): 51 For lack of
7 If prominent Lower Creeks were insulting members of their own people as Seminoles, then t he key to understanding either Semi nole ethnonymy or genesis lies not in Europe or the European colonies, but in Lower Creek country. In shifting attention away from a European invention model, this work moves into the vicinity of what Richard Berkhofer referred to in 1970 as the center of the believed that this figurative stage should be expanded to include more than Indian European relations Native native re lations were just as important. 11 The late J. Leitch Wright was the first scholar of the Cre eks and Se minoles to apply Berkhofer recommendations, and it is worthwhile to devo t e provocative thesis about Seminole formation. In Creeks and Seminoles: the Destruction and Regeneration of the Muscogulge People (1986), J. Wright argued that the Creeks were not simply divided geographically into the Lower Creeks along the Chattahoochee and Flint rivers and the Upper Creeks along the Coosa, Tall apoosa, and Alabama rivers. The Creeks were also divided along ethnic and linguistic lines. Wright be lieved that the bulk of Creek factionalism stemmed from a core periphery relationship between the dominant Muskogee (Creek) speaking peoples and the peripheral non Muscogee speakers. Seminole formation according to Wright, was the product of ethnic lingui stic tensions between the multiethnic Lower Creeks on the Chattahoochee River in which many of the peripheral Hitchiti speakers, especially those from the town of Oconee, the letter "r," see William Bartram, Travels (New York: Penguin Books, 1988), 406 Also consider, James Languag e Change: Advances in Historical Sociolinguistics ed. Ernst Hakon Jahn (Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter, 1999), 21 36. 11 Pacific Historical Review 40 (August 1970): 357 382, especially 358, 368
8 gladly moved into the depopulated regions of Florida to gain independence from the d Seminoles, they were telling the British that they were Hitchitis and not Creeks, not Indians from [the Lower Creek capitol of] Coweta and its vicinity who spoke 12 By f ocusing on the internal dynamics of Creek society, Wright was heading in the right direction, but his thesis was marred by a linguistic determinism that forced him on innumerable occasions to misidentify the language of a particular person or people to acc ount for factional strife. Since most Creeks were multilingual, language was not as The first Semin oles emphatically rejected their name as an insult hurled by their detractors in the Creek Nation. 13 Recent scholarship has emphasized that European alliances, not ethnicity or language, were the source of most Creek factionalism at least prior to 1763. Th is work extends that logic to put forth the argument that Seminole genesis was first and foremost a schism a byproduct of a clash between two Lower Creek factions: the ostensive Creek partisans of the Brit ish and the Creek nationalists. The Creek national ists were associated 12 J. Leitch Wright, Creeks and Seminoles: The Destruction and Regeneration of the Mus cogulge People (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1986), 4, 6 9 18. 13 Frank L. Owsley, Jr., review of Creeks and Seminoles: The Destruction and Regeneration of the Muscogulge People by J. Leitch Wright, Jr., American Indian Quarterly 12 (Summer 1988 ): 261 262; James F. Doster, review of Creeks and Seminoles: The Destruction and Regeneration of the Muscogulge People by J. Leitch Wright, Jr., Pacific Historical Review 58 (May 1989): 244 245 For a more Desert Islands and Other Texts, 1953 1974 ed. David L apoujade, trans. Michael Taormina (Los Angeles: Semiotexte, 2004), 32 51
9 with the royal Yslachamuque dynasty of Coweta, the capitol of the Lower Creeks. The English, finding the Indian name Yslachamuque too cumbersome, decided to rename the highest caste in Hindu society. Starting with Emperor Brahmins (16xx 1730s), the Brahmins European colonization. At first glance, this appears to be a noble aspiration, bu t it was hardly altruistic. The Brahmins were vehement about promoting and protecting their claimed power monopoly. 14 Although Europeans generally preferred to deal with centralized polities, the Brahmins often refused to play the part of English partisans. On the contrary, the Brahmins of Coweta favored a policy of neutrality during the imperial conflicts amongst gesture and sought to undermine the Brahmins by fosteri ng dissent. The self styled English partisans from outside of Coweta rose to great influence by filling the diplomatic void and disobeying the d ecrees of the nationalist Brahmins at Coweta. Unsurprisingly, this English policy of undermining the Brahmins an d supporting the partisans had a destabilizing effect in Creek country and nearly led to civil war on a number of occasions. It also laid the groundwork for the schism that would lead to Seminole formation. 15 14 379 ; Steven C. Hahn, The Invention of the Creek Nation, 1670 1763 (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 2004) ; Kathryn E. Holland Braund, Deerskin s and Duffels: The Creek Indian Trade with Anglo America, 1685 1815 (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1993), 22 15 372 ; Iroquois and the Euro New York History 63 (April 1982): 165, 167 ; Morton H. Fried, The Notion of Tribe (Menlo Park, CA: Cummings Publishing Company, 1975), 10 For an
10 Nevertheless, th e tension between the Creek nati onalists and ostensive partisans of the British was an age old conflict that should not be equated with Seminole genesis The Seminoles emerged at a particular point in time. This work suggests that the French and Indian War (1754 1763) was that critical t ime Admittedly one could find t r ace s of as far back as one pleases, but the French and Indian War was by far the most important era in the formation Nonetheless, f ew scholars have focused on that time in Florida history. By and large, most general works on the French and Indian War rarely mention Florida until late in 1761, when the Spanish crown officially entered the conflict These narratives ignore the unofficial origins of the conflict and assume that English colonists were only interested in expanding into French lands, solely afraid of French policies, and exclusively hostile to French Catholicism. Without a doubt, English colonials considered their French counterparts as enemy number one, but the English did not regar d the French as their only enemy. British c olonists in Georgia and South Carolina continued to look at Spanish Florida with a mixture of fear, lust, and loathing. They covertly encouraged their Creek allies to assault the Spaniards and their native allies against the imperial will of Whitehall (London) and the Creek nationalists of Coweta, who began referring to these pro English, anti Spanish warriors of the French and Indian War in the rift bet ween the nationalists and ostensive partisans occurred when the partisans blatantly defied the will of the nationalists by joining the example of near civil war in 1724, see David H. Corkran, The Creek Frontier, 1540 1783 (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1967), 71 73
11 English in the Cherokee War (1758 1761). By the end of the French and Indian War in 1763, the rift between ostensive part isans and nationalists was so great that many of the partisans settled the Alachua savanna near present day Gainesville under a chief known The physical separation of the two factions only i ncreased the tension. 16 While the nationalist partisan dynamic is critical in the unfolding of Seminole history, it is only the most obvious layer. With this in mind, I refer to the partisans as followers of the British cause, but should displays of affection be equated with genuine sentiment? There is no easy answer to this question, but this work attempts to highlight the disparity between the actual and theatrical Unquestionably the distinct ion between ingenuous and disingenuous gestures became clearer after the 1763 Treaty of Paris that ended the French and Indian War and gave Britain control of all the lands east of the Mississippi Since then, the diplomatic relations between the Br itish a nd the Creeks in general drastically declined Even t he Alachua Creeks the most ostensive partisans of the British, were disaffecting. This work argues that w hat really separated the Alachua Creeks from those in the Creek Nation was theatrics. The Alachua Creeks wore a politically expedient mask of diplomacy that emphasized simplicity, politeness, and a past that was no longer present. They convincingly donned this figurative mask on special occasions, namely, periods of tension between the English and Cre ek Nation The Alachua Creeks played 16 Florida Historical Quarterly 30 (April 1952): 341 352.
12 their part as English partisans so successfully that they convinced the British to take the mask at face value. N o work on Seminole formation should ignore the recent and controversial claims rida Seminoles are actually aboriginal Floridians In closing, this paper exposes the myth of Seminole aboriginality as emblematic of how politicized Sem inole history has become since C ongress created the Indian Claims Commission (ICC) in 1946. There is one more final note on language. Since this study fluctuates between eighteenth century English and Spanish records, I have taken the liberty to impose some rules on the language. In general, I use English rather than Spanish terminology for native groups, and so forth. While retaining much of the original eighteenth century English flavor, Likewise, I have translated the often awkward Spanish documents with the reader in mind.
13 Figure 1. A Map of Lower Creeks Towns, 1757 Coweta Cusseta Yuchi The Point Towns: Chehaw, Osochi, and Ocmulgee Hitchiti Apalachicola Oconee Little Oconee (Alchuba) Sawokli E ufaula Chialies Chiscatalafa Wioupkees or ( Taken from William Bonar ay, 1757 Reproduced in William P. Cumming, The Southeast in Early Maps ed. Louis De Vorsey, 3rd ed. (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1998), Plate 59E. )
14 Figure 2. A Map of Florida
15 CHAPTER ONE LOS SIMARRONES On Decembe r 10, 1753, a Lower Creek hunter named Tujalatte arrived at St. Augustine with pressing news from the English on Fort Frederica ( St. Georgia ). The hunter reported that the English seemed to be preparing for an unprovoked war against Spanish Florida. The British officers told Tujalatte that 100 reinforcements were soon expected to arrive at Fort William, the southernmost Eng lish fort on Cumberland Island, and they planned to rebuild all their fortifications on the southern frontier. Tujalatte recalled that the officers at Frederica were aware that his seasonal hunting schedule brought him in to Florida and had many question s about military strength. The hunter replied that the at least east of the St. Johns River. The officers responded that they too had many good men, and if war broke out as was expected t he British would not repeat their failures of 1702 1728, 1740, and 1743, when they devastated the Spaniards and their Florida native allies but This time the English were determined to take ancient city 1 1 14, 1754, Spellma n Collection, reel 144G For a general history on the attacks on St. Augustine, see Ian K. Stee le, Warpaths: Invasions of North America (New York: Oxford University Press, 1994), 154, 167, 168
16 These r umors of w ar shocked the Spaniards, who desperately sought more information. Governor Fugencio Garcia de Solis (1752 1755) called on a prisoner named Antonio de la Vera for help. The governor had a proposition: he would immed iately drop all charges if Vera served as a spy masquerading as a deserter gather critical information about military preparations and their intentions towards Spanish Florida Vera December 17, 1753, he set out f or Fort William to surrender himself. T he English were delighted The y transported Vera all the way to Savannah to be interviewed by a corporal but Vera attempted to reverse the roles b etween interviewer and interviewee. After extensive questioning about wondered why the corporal was so concerned since he rd, nor learned anything of war asked about Fort Picolata on the eastside of the St. Johns River responded that it was to be revamped after an Indian attack that resulted in two deaths. Vera wanted to know who was responsible for the attacks, but the corporal quickly den ied any knowledge of the affair a nd moved on to the next question. The corporal also inquired into strategic economic centers, namely, the locations, names, and owners of the haciendas and cattle ranches that St. Augustine depended on for survival. 2 After the extensive interview, the corporal transported to Port Royal to meet the Governor of South Carolina in January, 1754 Around the same time, 170 For French and Indian War, see Mark F. Boyd, mote Frontier: San Marcos de Apalache, 1763 Florida Historical Quarterly 19, no. 3 (January 1941): 179 2 de Rivilla Gigedo, June 14, 1754, Spellman Collection, reel 144G
17 General George Washington returned from his mission t o Fort Le Boeuf in northwest Pennsylvania with the news that the Frenc h were sweeping south The w ord on the street was that England and France were at war. Given all this information, the Spaniards concluded that English Hanoverians would see Bourbon F rance and Bourbon Spain a The Spaniards had good reasons to believe that order to Padrastro a play on words that can translate as a stepfather or an obstacle. 3 The threat to Flo rida came from expansionist colonials of Georgia and Carolina who saw the neglected Spanish outpost in the paradoxical terms of a threatening easy prey. The imperial overlords at Whitehall, however, wished to keep Spain neutral during the conflict and dis couraged any hostile gesture towards Florida. In order to placate Whitehall and satisfy themselves, expansionistic colonists relied on cov ert methods of secretly encouraging Creek warriors of a pro English persuasion to assault the Spaniards and their nati ve allies This chapter details how Seminole genesis was largely the product of the French and Indian War, a conflict that deepened already existing divisions between the nationalist faction at Coweta and the ostensive partisans living below them The outc ome of this inner Creek conflict over war, trade, and colonialism ultimately led to the Creek Seminole schism 3 Ibid. For Washington's January return, see William M. Fowler, Empires at War: The French and Indian War and the Struggle for North America, 1754 1763 (New York: Walker & Co., 2005), 36 ; New York Mercury February 18, 1754 ; George Washington, The Diaries of George Washington ed. Donald Jackson and Dorothy Twohig, vol. 1 (Charlottesville: Univer sity Press of Virginia, 1976), 118 61 Quotes regarding Spain found in Domingo de la Cruz to Julin de Arriaga, March 30, 1755, Stetson Collection, reel 50
18 A Crisis on the Chattahoochee to harass another at times when ish colonists relied on this covert strategy during the early years of the French and Indian War, while Spain clung to its official stance of neutrality. In fact, o ne piece of information that Antonio de la Vera gathered in his travels was that Georgians w ere encouraging their native allies to embark on slave raids against the Florida natives 4 This was not an easy request. When the first Spaniards reached the Florida, the peninsula was home to an estimated 350,000 natives. The number plummeted with the in troduction of European diseases. From around 1690 to 1704, the Lower Creeks system. According to an Englishman named Thomas Nairne, who joined in the slave raids, "our Forces entirely broke and ruined the Strength of the Spaniards in Florida, destroyed the whole Country, burnt the Towns, brought all the Indians, who were not killed or made Slaves, into our Territories, so that there remains not now, so much as one 4 Francis Jennings, The Invasion of America: Indians, Colonialism, and the Cant of Conquest (New York: W.W. Norton, 1976), 124 125.
19 Village, with ten Houses in it, in all Florida," except those protected "by the Guns of their Castle of St. Augustine." 5 1717), when the losing Yamasee fled to Florida, but their numbers wer e soon to plummet. W ith English enticement, the Creeks determined in the 1720s to all the Yamasees they meet with of Creek determination, the Yamasee were, in the words exterminated little by little." In 1728, a South Carolina expedition under John Palmer wiped out as many as one third of the remaining Yamasee. The Creek raids increased after the establishment of Georgia in 1733, when Creek par tisans reaffirmed their go and fetch all the Spanish Indian scalps The violence of the unofficial raids increased with the official beginnings of the strangely named War of Jenkins' Ear (1739 1748), which ended with the Yamasee becoming a mere shell of their former selves. 6 Thus, by the time of the French and Indian War, m ost of the near 100 remaining Christian natives largely Yamasee, preferred to live close to the protection of St. 5 For the estimated population of Florida natives, see Jerald T. Milanich, Florida's Indians from Ancient Times to the Present (Gainesville: University Press of Florida, 1998), viii For the Creek slave raids against Florida natives, see Mark F. Boyd, Hale G. Smith, and John W. Griffin, Here They Once Stood The Tragic End of the Apalach ee Missions (Gainesville: University Press of Florida, 1999) Thomas Nairne quoted in Alan Gallay, The Indian Slave Trade: The Rise of the English Empire in the American South, 167 0 1717 (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2002), 166 6 in Travels in the America n Colonies ed. Newton Dennison Mereness (New York: Antiquarian Press, 1961), 194, 209 Fl orida Historical Quarterly 68 (October 1989): 193 For the Palmer expedition, see Steven J. Oatis, A Colonial Complex: South Carolina's Frontiers in the Era of the Yamasee War, 168 0 1730 (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 2004), 284 Joseph Hetherington to Oglethorpe, Thunderbolt, March 22, 1735 in General 1743 vol. 1 (Savannah: Beehive Press, 1975), 139
20 Augustine at the missions of Tolomato and la Leche. Only on a lucky day c ould a Creek warrior catch a Yamasee off guard near the St. Johns River, the de facto boundary of Spanish Florida. On an even rarer occasion, a Creek war party might encounter a few Florida natives who abandoned the mission life near St. in small camps in the north Florida woods. 7 If the Georgians sought more Florida native slaves, Creek warriors would have to look further south to the Costas the generic Spanish term for all south Florida natives includi ng the famed Calusa. British c olonials them as cannibalistic pirates, who were the "Friends to no Nation." Living i n a r egion known for shipwrecks, the Costas were helpful to Spanish castaways, but a terror to English crews in the same unfortunate situation. As recently as 1752, a violent storm drove an English ship under Captain Edward s upon the southern coast of Florida, where the n ways used them very ill." The English believed that the Spaniards paid the natives to harass them. The outbreak of war in 1754 was a chance for the English to enact their revenge According to Domingo de la 7 For lack of potential Yamasee captives, see Kenneth Coleman and Milton Ready, ed., Original Papers of Governor Reynolds, Ellis, Wright and Others, 1754 1763 The Colonial Records of the State of Georgia 28.1 (Atlanta: University of Georgia Press, 1976), 108 Quotation ("live at their ease") found in Lucas Palacio y Valenzuela to Julin de Arriaga, St. Augustine, February 16, 1759, AGI SD 2542 B, re el 20 on the Condition o Spanish St. Augustine, 1565 1763 ed. Kathleen A. Deagan (New York: Garland Publishing, 1991), 565 1704 Conference, Charlotte, NC, 2003) ; John Hann, Missions to the Calusa (Gainesville: University of Florida Press, 1991), 198 199 For an earlier history of the slave trade in Native Americans, see Gallay, The Indian Slave Trade: The Rise of the English Empire in the American South, 1670 1717 Also see Oatis, A Colonial Complex: South Carolina's Frontiers in the Era of the Yamasee War, 1680 1730
21 8 At the outbreak of war, Creek war parties set out to capture Florida Indians i n the spring of 175 4 Jacho, a Spanish friendly Creek, who kept a seasonal cattle ranch near the St. Johns River, stopped two war parties. He exclaimed th at if the warriors committed an act of violence to wards the Spaniards or their native allies it would be avenged. A thir d war p arty led by C hief Eschie and head warrior Esques evidently did not heed Jacho's warnings. They traveled deep into Costa territory where they captured a man, woman, and child. Considering the ir mission a success, the slavers turned back home unaware that a group of Costas shadowed their every movements. When the moment was right, the Floridians attacked, killing most of the Creek party, including C hief Eschie. In the chaos of battle, captors and captives alike fled for safety. Only Esques and three o ther Creeks escaped alive. The y warned the Spaniards that they would soon In dian remained alive in the Keys, but the first order of business was to return to the Chattahoochee for the annual Busk ceremony. 9 8 For English conceptions of south Florida natives, see Jonathan Dickinson's Journal; or, God's Protecting Providence (New Haven: Yale University Press, 19 45) ; Wawhatchee talk to Demere, Fort Prince George, Keawee, Sep. 13, 1756 in William L. McDowell, ed., Documents Relating to Indian Affairs vol. 2 (Columbia: South Carolina Archives Department, 1958), 209 (Demere's comments) [referenced hereafter as DRIA ]; Samuel Urlsperger ed., Detailed Reports on the Salzburger Emigrants Who Settled in America, 1759 1760 trans. Hermann J. Lacher, vol. 17 (Athens: University of Georgia Press, 1993), 229 For shipwrecks, see Hann, Missions to the Calusa 403 ; Boston Post Boy January 8, 1753(Edwards anecdote) ; James Adair, History of the American Indians (London: Edward and Charles Dilly, 1775), 152 (Spanish payments) Domingo de la Cruz to Julin de Arriaga, March 30, 1755 9 Raymundo Alonzo de Arrivas, Testimony, July 17, 1754, enclosed in Solis to Conde de Rivilla Gigedo, July 27, 1754, Spellman Collection, reel 144G.
22 This is a good point to introduce a reoccurring theme of this work: t he Lower Creek presence in Florida, or anywhere for that matter, was not random. It followed the rhythms of the Creek seasonal calendar. Around early spring, the Lower Creeks abruptly disappeared from their hunt ing or warring grounds to return to their homes on the Chattahoochee River, where t hey could not be late for the planting season. Everyone in the community was expected to assemble in the square ground on the assigned date and proceed to the fields. Participation was not an option. It was Counsel send the warriors who Pillage his house of such things as they can find, sell them and add to the Town stock." O nce the cooperative labor of planting was completed, the corn ripened in a matter of a few months In the meantime, women tended the crops, while men engaged in more manly pursuits like hunting or warfare. 10 By July or August, Creek hunters and war riors would return home again to or the Green Corn Ceremony. A ttendance was so essential that Benjamin Hawkins (1754 1816) wrote: "this happy institution of the Boos ke tuh, rest ores man to himself, to his family, and to his nation." By extension, not participating in such a ceremony was not only anti 10 On the planting season, see Bartram, Travels 400 401 ; Adair, History of the American Indians 406 (two month corn), 430 ("the Indian law") ; Thomas Nairne, Nairne's Muskhogean Journals: The 1708 Expedition to the Mississippi ed. Alexander Moore (Jackson: University Press of Mississippi, 1988), 34 For post planti Travels in the American Colonies ed. Newton Dennison Mereness (New York: Antiquarian Press, 1961), 560
23 so cial but potentially disastrous. T hus, in the words of Philip Georg Friedrich Von Reck, "even if the nation has not assembled thr 11 The Busk ceremony symbolized a time of new beginnings and renewal. The townspeople would sweep and clean the entire community of all filth. For a period of three days, they would fast and take physics. In t he process, they were symbolically reborn. Newborns donned a name. Boys became men. The judged became forgiven of all crimes except murder On the fourth day, they would extinguish every fire in the community and light a new flame in the nd To symbolize the interconnection s between each household and the larger community a torch bearer would li ght anew With the dawn of the New Year, the women proceeded to the fields to h arvest the new crops, which hitherto, all were forbidden to consume. Then the starving townspeople would have an enormous feast in the town square ground, where they would invite friends and family from outside of the community to join in the celebratio n with singing, dancing, and other forms of merriment until the sun peaked over the horizon. Once compl eting this essential ceremony, the villagers were free to do as they pleased. 11 Many have written about the Busk ceremony. My reconstruction of the ceremony is largely based on the following sources: Bartram, Travels 399 ; Philip Georg Friedrich Von Reck, Von Reck's Voyage ed. Kristian Hvidt (Savannah: Beehive Press, 1990), 49 ; Benjamin Hawkins, The Collected Works of Benjamin Hawkins, 1796 1810 ed. Thomas Foster (Tuscaloosa: University of Alabama Press, 2003), 75s, 78s ("happy institution") 79s ; Florida Historical Quarterly 13 (O ctober 1934): 95 96 ; O n the importance of ritual, see Gregory Evans Dowd, A Spirited Resistance: The North American Indian Struggle for Unity, 1745 1815 (Baltimore: John Hopkins University Press, 1992), 3 For the place of the hunting season in relation to other rituals, see Braund, Deerskins and Duffels 67
24 Not every Creek went to Florida in spring of 1754 with ill intentions. T he nationalistic Brahmins from Coweta travelled to St. Augustine to renew their ancient friendship with the Spaniards and invite them to attend their annual Busk ceremony that summer. Out of all the possible candidates for this mission, Florida Governor Fuge ncio Garcia de Solis chose a Florida Indian named Antonio Muono to mingle with a crowd that had recently experience among the Chattahoochee River Creeks highlighted the growing division between nationalists and English partisans at the outset of the Great War for Empire 12 Muono spent most of his time at the Lower Creek capitol of Coweta It was the northernmost town on the western (Alabama) side of the Chattahoochee River just below the Piedmont coastal plains fall line. Muono found that the locals were friendship of the Spaniards" so much so that he could not even detect disgust." They provided the Spanish Indian with much critical information regarding the intention s of the English towards Spanish Florida Apparently, Englishmen notified the Lower Creeks that "with the Spaniards they were for the present in good relations, but that in the spring it would not be, and that then they will arm them against San Augustine. spring attacks of 1754 and the on the southern frontier were not without a purpose of [a] siege a polic y of neutrality in the wars between the English, Spanish, and French colonists. They preferred to fight with none and trade with all. The French and Indian War was no exception. 12 For Coweta's invitation, see Alonzo de Arrivas, July 17, 1754 Antonio Muono, Testimony, September 26, 1754, Spellman Collection, reel 14 4G
25 Prince Malachi the son of Emperor Brahmins, expressed his desire for neutrali ty. Chief Siticay of Coweta assured Muono that in case of "the outbreak of war with the English, they would be quiet in their towns." 13 Unfortunately for the Spaniards, Coweta was a powerful exception. As Muono travelled south from Coweta to the town of Ch ehaw, reception was far less rosy Chehaw was the most influential a name derived from a large bend in the Chattahoochee R iver. Aside from Chehaw, the point towns included Osochi and Ocmulgee These communities we re diverse but known for their history of British partisanship and Spanish hostility Upon entering Chehaw a local named Simunque accused the Spanish delegation of coming to "trick them He declared that the Spanish invitations to visit to St. Augustine crowd at Chehaw began to turn on their guests, Muono feared for his life. Coincidently, a friendly Creek named Sinjaque (quite possibly the already mentioned Jacho) was passing through Chehaw to visit his brot her. Sinjaque, who just returned from a joyful stay at Fort Picolata dismissed Simunque as a liar and encouraged the crowd to visit St. Augustine where they crowd abandoned the not ion that visiting St. Augustine was a certain death wish, but Sinjaque could say nothing to erase the partisanship towards Great Britain so evident in t he southern towns of the Chattahoochee River 14 13 Ibid. For a great study of Coweta's politics, see Hahn, Invention of the Creek Nation especially 3 4, 83, 110 120, 193 14 Muono, September 26, 1754 For a discussion of the point towns, see Thomas Foster, Mary Theresa Bonhage Freund, and Lisa O'Steen, Archaeology of the Lower Muskogee Creek Indians, 17 15 1836 (Tuscaloosa: University of Alabama Press, 2007), 53 56, 65 67, 70 For the pro English, anti Spanish bent of the point towns, see Hahn, Invention of the Creek Nation 153, 173, 185, 228, 241, 265, 269
26 Not far b elow the point towns was a small but significan t town called Oconee. continuation of the history of the Oconee." The Oconee certainly had a reputation for being generally attached to the British and staunch oppone nts of the Spaniards. During the 1730s and 1740s, they were linked with the destructive campaigns against the Yamasee and other Florida aboriginal groups. A t a time when General James Oglethorpe was in desperate need of reinforcements during the 1740 siege of St. Augustine, the Cowkeeper of Oconee (Ahaya) arrived with forty five warriors. (T he Cowkeeper would The Oconee Creeks carried on this tradition by participating in a seco nd major Georgian expedition against St. Augustine in 1743. When a group of escaping Spaniards outran English forces, the Oconee pursued the Spaniards and kill'd a the Cannon play'd so smartly upon them that they had not time to bring off any Prisoners." For all of these gestures, the British regarded the Oconee Creeks as noted English partisans 15 15 John R. Swanton, The Early Histo ry of the Creek Indians and Their Neighbors (Gainesville: University Press of Florida, 1998), 181 Florida Historical Quarterly 27 (April 1949): 362 For warfare against Yamasee and other Florida groups, see Bartram, Travels 69, 130, 382 83 ; Florida Historical Q uarterly 74, no. 2 (1995): 198 199 On the difficulty of recruiting Creek warri ors for the 1740 expedition, see Corkran, Creek Frontier 103 ; Hahn, Invention of the Creek Nation 181 182 ; Julie Anne Sweet, Negotiating for Georgia: British Creek Relations in the Trustee Era, 1733 1752 (Athens: University of Georgia Press, 2005), 143 145 ; The St. Augustine Expedition of 1740 (Columbia: South Carolina Archives Department, 1954), 55, 155 For 1743 campaign, see Edward Kimber, A Relation or Journal of a Late Expedition to the Gates of St. Augustine on Florida (Gainesville: University Presses of Florida, 1976), 29 ; Pennsylvania Gazette March 19, 1743
27 themselves from the most powerful Lower Creeks: the nationalists at Coweta. The most significant incident occurred in 1749, when the president of Savannah, William Stephens, affronted Prince Malachi who return ed to the Chattahoochee to inform his kinsmen that war w ith the Georgians councilors sent out John Kinnard to invite a new set of Lower Creeks unaffiliated with ins was a difficult task since most Lower Creeks remained loyal to Malachi Kinnard recalled that his mission would have been a complete failure without the aid of the Long Warrior of Oconee (Wehofkee) Against the will of the Prince, Kinnard and the Long Warrior recruited nearly a hundred Lower Creeks to visit Savannah. belie warrior. Whether true or not, Malachi heard that the Georgians attempted to give the t he En Coweta continued to treat the Long Warrior, the Cowkeeper, and others of the pro British faction at Oconee with great suspicion. 16 16 For a detailed study of the 1749 incident, see Sweet, Negotiating for Georgia: British Creek Relations in the Trustee Era, 1733 1752 159 176 Allen Candler, ed., Proceedings of the President and Assistants, October 12, 1741 October 30, 1754 The Colonial Records of the State of Georgia 6 (Atlanta: Franklin Turner, 1904), 295 97 ; William L. McDowell, ed., Documents Relating to Indian Affairs vol. 1 (Columbia: South Carol ina Archives Department, 1958), 305 306
28 Even though the anti Spanish sentiment w as widespread outside of Coweta at the outset of the war, the Coweta delegation singled out the Oconee as the leading troublemakers. They informed intentions, and that t end of the hunting parties." In 1754, Prince Malachi urged the Spaniards not to see the actions of the unregulated Oconee as represent ing the will of the Creek Nation, because declared through a Spanish interpreter that the attackers translates as C oweta C r eeks heard their Spanish speaking translators utter y had a difficult time pronouncing the term on account officials incorporated the term into their le xicon. While the term evidently specified the pplied indiscriminately by the C reeks to all the vagabonds from their nation." 17 When warriors, tr ue to their word, set out from the far southern towns of Sawokli ( Sabacola ) and Eufaula to eradicate the south Florida natives in the fall of 1754, Prince Malachi ordered the warriors to halt just as they were about to pass out of Lower Creek country. The Prince 17 Muono, September 26, 1754, and the enclosed Malachi letter Bartram discussed the lack of the letter "r" in Travels 406 ; For Seminole as a Spanish loan word, see Indian Re Memoir on East and West Florida with Itineraries of General Andrew Jackson's vagabonds") For a more philosophical discussion of translation, see David Murra y, Forked Tongues: Speech, Writing and Representation in North American Indian Texts (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1991), 1 2, 5 13.
29 launched into a n oration about how they should "employ the time of peace in launching their hunting parties," not their war parties. Malachi managed to stop the warriors but only for a time 18 the British certainly encouraged dissent. Whereas Malachi advocated that the Creeks employ their time hunting rather than fighting the Cowkeeper of Oconee proudly proclaimed in a very curious choice of words that "his employment had been making War on th e Florida he preferred While the Oconee Creeks were the most vocal spokesmen of the raids, they were not alone. The Yuchi played a significant role. Although their name sounds remar kably close to Uchice the Spanish term for Lower Creek, the Yuchi spoke a language entirely unlike the rest of the Lower Creeks. In fact, they were once enemies until circumstances forced them to resolve their differences and join the others on the Chatta h oochee River where they retained their linguistic and cultural uniqueness. While the majority of Creeks would at least give differential treatment to Prince Malachi, the Yuchi declared that 19 T he attacks against the s outh Florida natives continued the following year despite 1756, English speaking newspapers report ed that "a Party of 70 Creeks had been as far as the Coast of Florida, where they killed and capt ivated [sic] all the Indians they found at that Place, save five that by some Means or [an] other got off 18 Juan de Cotilla to Fulgencio Garca de Sols, Novemb er 20, 1754, Spellman Collection, reel 144G. 19 For the Cowkeeper, see John T. Juricek, ed., Georgia Treaties 1733 1763 Early American Indian Documents: Treaties and Laws, 1607 1789 11 (Frederick, MD: University Publications of America, 1989), 260 ("employment") ; Boston Evening Post November 3, 1760("war better than hunting") For the Yuchis, see Hawkins, The Collected W orks of Benjamin Hawkins 61s 62s ; Glen to President and Council of Georgia, Co uncil Chamber, June 15, 1751 in McDowell, DRIA 1: 170 ; Candler, Colonial Records of Georgia 6: 289 ("no superior Righ t")
30 alive." The raids in search for the fugitive Floridians continued largely off the record throughout the French and Indian War. In the late spring or ea rly summer of 1760, Yuchi fell in with the main Body of the Floridians, whom they surprised and fell in upon like a Torrent, killed many and took 11 Prisoners without any Loss on their Side; the rest took to their Pit pans and fled South westerly the Fugitives." 20 The Oconee Creeks under the Cowkeeper joined the Yuchi that fall, and together they c aught about nine more captives. In October, 1760, the Cowkeeper and his band of warriors paraded through Savannah with twenty south Florida prisoners. The Cowkeeper announced that "he had at length, in a manner, extirpated the Florida Meanwhile, t he handful of south Florida natives that esc aped the slaughter fled to Key West where they awaited a vessel to take them to Cuba where most perished from hunger and disease. 21 The Political Economy of Hunting Parties The Lower Creeks had finally consolidated their claim to the entire peninsula west of the St. Johns River by right of conquest. Since t he Creek conquest of the Spanish 20 New York Mercury June 21, 1756, October 6, 1760 ; Urlsperger Detailed Reports 17: 263 For Boston Evening Post November 3, 1760. 21 Boston Evening Post November 3, 1760; Urlsperger Detailed Reports 17: 263 For removal to Cuba, see South Carolina Gazette April 3, 1762 ; Juan Jos Elisio de la Puente, September 12, 1764, Stetson Collection, reel 52 ; Charles W. Arnad Tequesta 15 (1955): 41 54 ; Bernard Romans, A Concise Natural History of East and West Florida (Gainesville: University of Florida Press, 1962), 291 ; Charles B. Cory, Hunting and Fishing in Florida: Including a Key to the Water Birds Known to Occur in the State (Boston: Estes & Lauriant, 1896), 12 ; Evacuation of South Florida, 1704
31 mission system in the early eighteenth century, Florida experienced an ecological revolution that transformed the peninsula into Notwithst William Bartram remarked that the Creeks, especially those in Florida, unreason able and perhaps criminal excess, since the white people have dazzled their senses with foreign superfluities." In a similar vein, Denys Rolle, a resident of East f 22 Having already explained the seasonality of the Creek presence in Florida, I would now like to spend some time discussing some of the more popular Creek hunting spots and those that frequented them. Scattered evidence suggests that Creek hunting ur understanding of the boundaries of these J. Leitch Wright. Certain groups laid a spe cific claim to a particular ground. Wright attempted to reconstruct these paths. He he Chehaws hunted on the Altamaha, the Cowetas between the Oconee and The Yuchis were among those who went to mid Florida and Tampa Bay." 23 22 Florida Historical Quarterly 28 (July 1949): especially 14 For secondary scholarship on the changing nature of the hunt, see William Cronon, Changes in the Land: Indians, Colonists, and the Ecology of New England (New York: Hill and Wang, 1983), 97 98, 105 ; Michael P. Morris, The Bringing of Wonder: Trade and the Indians of the Southeast, 1700 1783 (Westport: Greenwood Press, 1999), especially 3 6 ; Braund, Deerskins and Duffels 62 For quotations, see Bartram, Travels 184 ; Denys Rolle, The Humble Petition of Denys Rolle (Gainesville: University Presses of Florida, 1977), 15 23 Wright, Creeks and Seminoles 63 64.
32 As Wrigh t pointed out, t he Tampa Bay area was a popular hunting spot especially for the Yuchi Officials at St. Augustine were aware that many Chattahoochee River natives canoed to the region to hunt, but they knew little more of what was happening on the gulf co ast. The Cuban navy, however, led several surveying voyages to the Tampa Bay region in the 1750s, and one of them, the Francisco Maria Celi expedition in April of 1757, recorded their interactions with the hunters. W hen not hun ting by daylight, these hunte rs resided in small camps of no more than a dozen along the coast Nevertheless, there were enough of these camps to cover the coastline with tiny flickers of light. These hunters travelled almost exclusively by canoe. The Spaniards encountered one innovat ive group o f maritime hunters, who carried "four hallow deer skulls so prepared that they retained their antlers and had some small cords inside which made the Although Celi made only a passing reference to t heir "lodgings in his journal the artistically drawn map of the region clearly depicted the quintessential hunting camp : an open two sided structure 24 A hunting site of even greater importance was just seventy miles away from St. Augustine at the Alachua (La Chu) savanna known toda State Park near modern day Gainesville Hunters, typically associated with the town of Oconee, would often gather there or at the nearby ghost town of Santa Fe to set out on 24 For St. Augustine's knowledge of Tampa Bay hunters, see Juan de Cotilla to Garca de Sols, November 20, 1754 ; Fulgencio Garca de Sols to the King, St. Augustine, December 12, 1754, Ste tson Collection, reel INSERT Of the earlier expedition, see Tequesta 28 (1968): 91 97 For the Celi expedition, see Charles Florida Historical Quarterly 47 (July 1968): 4 6 ; Francisco Mar Florida Historical Quarterly 50 (January 1972): 262 277 For the Florida Historical Quarterly 47 (July 1968): especially 22 23 Von Reck, Voyage
33 xtensive Alachua savanna is a level green plain, above fifteen miles over, fifty miles in circumference, and scarcely a tree or ideal terrain that the natives artific ially created through fire: a vast open space where game could be easily visible. Aside from the Bartram also spotted droves of cattle on the savanna. Long ago, the Hacienda de La Chua was once the largest supplier of fresh beef in all of Florida, but sin ce its destruction in the early eighteenth century, the cattle went wild and roamed the lands as the pleased. Many Creek warriors learned of Alachua's animal wealth during the War of Jenkins' Ear (1739 1748) when t eturned in hunting parties (caserias ) to claim the cattle of Alachua Chief A 25 T hese Florida hunting excursions contri buted to the Creek Seminole schism Coweta headmen char much time in their Florida hunting grounds. Their comparatively long excursions were 25 For hunters at Alachua, see Garca de Sols to the King, December 12, 1754 For an explicit reference to the Santa Fe and Alachua meeting grounds, see Lucas Palacio y Valenzuela to Julin de Arriaga, St. Augustine, July 15, 1761, Stetson Collection For Alachua's past, see Henry A. Baker, Florida Anthropologist 46 (June 1993): 82 ; Quotation ("inspected") found in 1743 vol. 2 (Savannah: Beehive Press, 1975), 446 Bartram, Travels 165 On the use of fire, see Timothy Silver, A New Face on the Countryside: Indians, Colonists, and Slaves in South Atlantic Forests, 1500 1800 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1990), 59 66
34 largely the result of a phenomenon : a form of commerce whereby merchants w ould illegally to e xchange By the 1750s, British merchants began accompanying the natives on their hunting excursions to Alachua and ish transliteration of Santa Fe 26 C reek nationalists regularly complained of destabilizing effects of merchants who particularly, they singled out a merchant name d time a licensed merchant to several small Lower Creek villages, he began illegally hunters. Creek national officials complained that Alexander "trades away back in the Woods and [keeps] our People from coming Home by which Means our Towns are They r equested that Governor Reynolds em to come in and [leave] of trading in the Woods." 27 By 1757, twenty eight of the gun bearing Oconees associated with Alachua formed a new village just a few miles below Oconee. This new settlement was known 26 For a possible, yet implicit, reference to trading in the Florida woods, see New York Gazette September 25, 1752 In 1754, the Spaniards mentioned a m ysterious "casa fuerte" (strong house) nearby the St. Johns River. I believe this rumored casa fuerte was actually an exaggerated illegal trading post. See Garca de Sols to the King, December 12, 1754, Stetson Collection For an explicit reference in 1759 to "the British having a store i 27 Quotation ("carry rum") found in Georgia Gazett e December 22, 1763 On the Cowkeeper's ht Time: The Creek Town of Alachua, the British Town of New Hanover, and the Role of 'Outlaw' Towns in the Southeastern Backcountry, 1750s For Alexander as a licensed trader from Carolina, see DRIA 1: 124 Complaints about E. Alexander found in McDowell, DRIA 2: 192 For secondary material on trading in the woods, see Piker, Okfuskee: A Creek Indian Town in Colonial America 154 157 ; Braund, Deerski ns and Duffels 101, 105, 106
35 ir favorite hunting spot. Although we have no details of the re asons behind the formation of Al chuba, there are several possibilities. Thomas Nairne noted that natives often formed such satellite communities e reputation of those Alachua hunters, this is a very plausible explanation, but not the only one. By the middle of the century, the flood of English merchant villages, known in the Creek tongue as talofas New traders, rather than facing competition with an existing town trader, would often establish a splinter settlement with owkeeper. In all lik elihood, the establishment of Al chuba was the result of both possibilities. 28 Ephraim significant. Unfortunately, l ittle else is known about him aside from his troubled with a Georgian politician named Edmund Gra y, who headed a n opposition faction that accused Governor John Reynolds of unfair and arbitrary go vernment. In accused t he When their calls for a new election were ignored, the Gray faction resorted to boycott ing the assembly. In their absence, the assembly expelled Gray and his followers for sedition. Gray fled to the Satilla River, where he 28 For Little Oconee/Atchuba, see Coleman and Ready, Colonial R ecords of Georgia 28 pt. 1: 89 ; William Bonar, "A Draught of the Creek Nation," May 1757 reproduced in William P. Cumming, The Southeast in Early Maps ed. Louis De Vorsey, 3rd ed. (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1998), Plate 59E Nai rne, Muskhogean Journals 62 63
36 established the illegal colony of New Hanover and claimed the entire territory between the Altamaha and St. Johns rivers. Gray was followed by boat loads of settlers, initially fifty to sixty gunmen lawless Set of People, Hunters, and who committed Outrages against all Ephraim Alexander was drawn to New Hanover for the same reasons as many merchant s. The illegal colony was essentially a rendezvous for traders in the woods. Without regulations, recognition, investors or capital, New Hanover was dependent on commerce with the natives and Spaniards of Florida According to Dr. study, a significant portion of New Hanover families were involved in the tra de s as merchants or white hunters. 29 The Lower Creeks had mixed reactions to New Hanover, but t he vast majority saw the illegal colony as a flagran t treaty violation of the March 20, 1756, eighty two Lower Creek men, women, and children complained to Governor Hanoverians, he replied that he could unfortunately do nothing abo ut them, because his jurisdiction stopped at the Altamaha River. The natives should complain to the g overnor 29 For Gray Alexander connection, see Coleman and Ready, Colonial Records of Georgia 28 pt. 1: 17 18 For Gray's expulsion, see Coleman and Ready, ed., Original Papers of Governor John Reynolds, 17 54 1756 Colonial Records of the State of Georgia 27 (Atlanta: University of Georgia Press, 1977), 56 ; New York Mercury M arch 3, 1755; Allen Candler, ed., Proce edings and Minutes of the Governor and Council, October 20, 1754 March 6, 1759 Colonial Records of the State of Georgia 7 (Atlanta: Franklin Turner, 1906), 134 ; Edward J. Cashin, G overnor Henry Ellis and the Transformation of British North America (Athens: University of Georgia Press, 1994), 63 For territorial claim, see Georgia Historical Quarterly 13 (March 1929): 53 Coleman and Ready, Colonial Records of Georgia 27: 61 (boats, debtors, etc.). For New Hanover's population, see McDowell, DRIA 2: 194 ; Coleman and Ready, Colonial Records of Georgia 28 pt. 1: 174 See ibid., 18 Quotation ("New Hanover Law") found in Rolle, Humble Petition 75 Piker argued that at least 27% of New Hanover's known member s were "linke d to the Creeks"; s
37 of South Carolina, who Reynolds believed had jurisdiction over the debated borderlands between England and Spain Stepping into this bureaucratic q uicksand Reynolds over were terrified of a Creek attack. By contrast a minority of Lower Creeks fa vored the illegal not only behaved friendly, but relishing the advantage of Supplies from this Settlement are Solicitous for Our Stay. These friendly Creeks were none other than the Cowkeeper and his kin from Oconee. 30 The two Creek views of N ew Hanover and trading in the woods one partisan, the other nationalist clashed in the fall of 1756, a time of general dissatisfaction among the Creeks over illegal settlers. In September, Upper Creeks from the Tallapoosa River exchanged bullets with Engli sh squatters in an event known to history as the Ogeechee incident. That same September, five New Hanoverians joined a Creek hunting jaunt to the Alachua Santa Fe region. Although their Oconee friends were courteous, others grumbled about hunting in the co mpany of land usurpe rs. Ten days into the excursion the New Hanover hunters noticed a "disagreeable Change in the behavior of several of the Indians." The five became apprehensive. They were in the middle of nowhere hunting with their potential murderers. Luckily, a brother of the Cowkeeper would protect them, but he too was worried of a potential ambush if they continued in the woods. He 30 Complaints about Gray found in Candler, Colonial Records of Georgia 7: 333 ; McDowell, DRIA 2: 194, 355 .
38 recommended a safer passage to St. Augustine and he even accompanied the five men along part of the journey until it ap peared safe. 31 When the New Hanoverians safely reached St. Augustine, several of the English speaking inhabitants of the ancient city informed them of troubling news: the Spaniards planned to travel to the Satilla River to take advantage of the "rupture" b etween the Creek nationalists and the New Hanoverians Three of the five New Hanoverians rushed home along the shoreline to sound the alarm that the Creeks wanted them dead and the Spaniards were coming. Most New Hanoverians fled to Cumberland Island, and by the time the Spanish force under Lorenzo Joseph de Leon 32 The Spaniards explained to the few remaining settlers that they were misinformed a territo ry ending at the St. Johns River. The settlers needed to withdraw or become Spanish vassals. After the New Hanoverians returned from Cumberland Island, some were intrigued by the Spanish proposal. Their plan of gaining imperial recognit ion as a legitimate colony was not fa ring well. Perhaps the Spaniards had a worthwhile offer, or at least something the New Hanoverians could use to play the English off against the Spaniards in hopes of bettering their prospects of recognition. Neverthele ss, their first concern was survival. In the face of Spanish threats, Gray called on Ephraim Alexander, 31 On the Ogeechee incident, Corkran, Creek Frontier 177 ; Hahn, Invention of the Creek Nation 259 260 William Wilkins testimony of the Santa Fe hunting trip found in Candler, Colonial Records of Georgia 7: 429 32 For Spanish learni Ibid., 429 The flight to Cumberland Island can be found in Coleman and Ready, Colonial Records of Georgia 28 pt. 1: 17 Lorenzo Joseph de Leon, Diary, November 26, 1756, enclosed in Herida to Arriaga Florida, December 3, 1756, AGI SD 2542B [PKY 28 B reel 19])
39 who they continued harassing the illegal colony 33 The tense borderland situation changed dramatically with the arrival of a new Georgian governor named Henry Ellis (1757 1760) Ellis saw the New Hanove r settlers not as traitors, but as ising from the late Ephraim Alexander, who he dwelt, & acquired a great influence among the Lower Creeks Indians tha t reside toward They seemed so friendly to the British that Ellis was willing to overlook how they terrified the frontier settlers and kille d their cattle. Perhaps they all could be useful. 34 What exactly did Ellis have in mind? Like many in the English speaking world, the governor never took Spanish neutrality seriously and believed that it was just a matter of time before the Spanish Bourbons entered the war on the si de of th e French Bourbons 33 Ibid.. Candler, Colonial Records of Georgia 7: 547 548 ; Coleman and Ready Colonial Records of Georgia 28 pt. 1: 18 34 Ibid., 3 ("universal discontent") 17 19
40 then Florida would be legitimately up for grabs. While Whitehall officials encouraged peaceful relations with the Spaniards to keep them from joining the French, Governor Ellis advocated a preemptive attack against Florida. He as t may be objected that such a Conquest amongst the Spanish Settlements would give Umbrage to Spain, which might happen, yet I am persuaded it would be our interest to make it, even were we to yield it to the Spaniards afterwards. Gi ven Whitehall Ellis conceived of a policy towards Spain that was based on at Ellis arrival was the friends and the Spaniards. The governor be bad policy." Instead, he decided to "wink at many en ormities committed by our own people & the Savages." Needless to say, that under such conditions we can hardly rely on 35 S hortly his meeting with Gray, Alexander, and their Creek warriors killed two unarmed workers from Fort San Marcos de Apalachee on the morning of July 26, 1757. After scalping and ripping out the hearts of their unfortu nate victims, the natives set a large fire that spread within a few miles of the f ort. T he presiding commander at Fort San Marcos immediately dispatched several parties of soldiers to hunt down the culprits. One walked right into a slew of Creek 35 Rumor had it in March 1757 that many French were at St. Augustine, and the Spaniards openly spoke of thei r intentions to join the French (McDowell, DRIA 2: 354 Coleman and Ready, Colonial Records of Georgia 28 pt. 1: 74 75, 166, 248
41 bullets, a nd by the time the detachment pulled itself together to await a second attack, the battle was over and the attackers returned home for the Busk purification ceremony. Nevertheless, the Spanish force managed to mortally wound several highly respected war le aders who died in the retreat In accordance with custom, the attackers would seek their revenge after Busk 36 The Spaniards strongly suspected that the English were behind the July 26 attack Since the bloodshed forced the Spaniards at Pensacola to open further communication with the French at Mobile for intelligence gathering purposes, man y Spaniards believed the attack was a part of an English ploy Spaniards at St. Augustine placed most of the blame on the i llegal English settlers at New Hanover. St. Augustine officials even accused Governor Ellis of "secretly kindling this The Upper Creeks blamed the English partisans among the Lower Creeks The Lower Creeks pointed to the partisans among the Upper C reeks along the Tallapoosa River In the end, the Eufaula who lived among st both the Upper and Lower Creeks, were deemed the main malefactors Nevertheless, t hose at Coweta strongly suspected the involvement of t he old enemies of the Spaniards: the Oconee Creeks This assumption proved correct. A party of twenty four Oconee walked away from the battle with four Spanish captives, who they took to Ephraim Alexander at New Hanover before returning to the Chattahoochee for Busk. 37 36 Events described in Juan de Cotilla to Alonso Fernndez de Heredia, (Diary, Jul. 26 Sep. 26), September 26, 1757, enclosed in Heredia to Arriaga, October 14, 1757, Stetson Collection, reel 51 For accounts from Pensacola, see Miguel Romn de Castillo y Lugo to unknown, October 25, 1757, Spellman Collection, reel 144J 37 Romn de Castillo y Lugo to unknown, October 25, 1757 Fo r accusations of Ellis and New Hanover instigation, see Coleman and Ready, Colonial Records of Georgia 28 pt. 1: 74, 105 107, 175 Juan de Cotilla to Fernndez de Heredia,
42 Around this time the Oconee heard disconcerting news that G overnor Ellis was furious about their attack on the Spaniards. outrage a diplomatic performance or had Ellis betrayed them ? To clarify the confusing situation, the Cowkeeper led a pa rty of fifty warriors to visit the governor. The Cowkeeper was relieved when Ellis lauded the chief for his the Spaniards from Cultivating their Lands or extending their Settlemen ts from Pensacola or St. Augustine. How ever, the Cowkeeper mistook what seemed to be an explicit sign of approval as a public endorsement. W hen the chief wanted to discuss the problems his people were having with the Spaniards in the council chamber, Elli become involved in a dispute between the Indians and the Spaniards, especially since England and Spain were at peace. Ellis invited his guests to his house for a private talk where he could candidly speak without the presence of a transcriber. 38 The Spaniards knew that a second attack was forthcoming after Busk. A month later, they discovered a mysterious fire near Fort San Marcos The next night, warriors attempted to burn down the store located on the co nfluence of the Tagabana and Apalachee Rive r. To make matters worse, n ews arrived from Pensacola that from the Upper Creek towns along the Tallapoosa River had "congregated, and in fact, left already from their towns" to attack the Spaniards at Pensacola while the Lower Creeks were planning to assault the Spaniards at San Marcos de Apalachee and St. Augustine. J ust over twenty miles away from St. Augustine Lower Creek warriors September 26, 1757, especially the Aug. 2 2 entry ; Corkran, Creek Frontier 187 On the four prisoners, see Coleman and Ready, Colonial Records of Georgia 28 pt. 1: 104 105 38 Juricek, Georgia Treaties 259 61
43 descended on the haciendas of San Diego and Monte Puerco on Sept ember 15 They burned the plantations to the ground and captured six prisoners. Spanish military forces set out to intercept them, but moved too slowly. In time, the Spaniards learned that the straight from the town of Oconee. Despite such incriminating evidence against the English, the g overnor of St. Augustine, Alonso Fernandez de Heredia (1755 1758) 39 Heredia preferred to hand le the problem diplomatically by opening a correspondence with Governor Ellis Governor Heredia demanded that Ellis remove the illegal settlers at New Hanover. Although Ellis diplomatic demands, he was completely insincere. T o his Anglo phone comrades Ellis confessed that his When Heredia accused Ellis of being involved in the recent I ndian attacks, Ellis swore to Heredia on his honor that he had always told the natives not to disturb the Spaniards, because their two nations were at peace. Ellis denied all responsibility or knowledge of the attacks since the attacks were unplanned. Elli s insisted that the Lower Creek warriors were hunting Florida Indians, but when they could not find any Florida natives they suddenly remembered that soldiers at the garrison of San Marcos committed acts of indecency towards their women. 39 Juan de Cotilla to Fernndez de Heredia, September 26, 1757 For accounts from Pensacola, see Romn de Castillo y Lugo to unknown, October 25, 1757 The September 15 event is found in a long series of declarations recorded on September 26 by military officers such as Lorenzo Joseph de Leon, Antono Casimiro, Adefonso Sanchez, Alvero Lopez de Toledo, etc., they all tend to say the same thing. For knowledge of when the Oconee were deemed the culprits, see Alonso Fernndez de Heredia to Lorenzo Joseph de Leon September 18, 1757. All of the s e Spanish sources are found as enclosures in the massive 69 page letter from Alonso Fernndez de Heredia to Julin de Arriaga, October 14, 1757, Stetson Collection reel 51
44 On a whim, they d ecided to attack the Spaniards. By painting the Creek attackers as capricious savages, Ellis could deny all responsibility. 40 Back at Whitehall, t he Board of Trade became c oncerned with the attacks, and like the questioned the conduct behind closed doors. Ellis was known to have c onstantly entertained at his house, but he assured his inquisitive superiors that "it will perhaps seem strange to your Lordship that during our negotiation I never instigated the Indians to make war upon our Enemies." To make a marginal show of his sincerity, Ellis negotiated the release of several of the Spanish captives taken by the Oconee. Notwithstanding his public performance Ellis was examining Georgia's southern defenses and considering the role that Mary Bosomworth, an other influential Creek merchant could play if Spain and England went to war. 41 The violence in Florida increased in Florida after the arrival of Alonso Fernndez de Heredia Lucas Fernando de Palacio y Valenzuela (1758 1761) By all accounts, Palacio was a ruthless and unpopular gover nor. His critics portray him as tyrannical, paranoid, and delusional. The priest hood openly despised him as "a demon, a wild man, or possessed by some evil spirit." The soldiers showed thei r disdain by deserting in droves T he Creeks would soon come to the same character assessment of 40 For accounts from Pensacola, see Romn de Castillo y Lugo to unknown, October 25, 1757 ; Coleman and Ready, Colonial Records of Georgia 28 pt. 1: 74, 77, 105 10 8 41 Ibid., 87, 104 105, 108, 156, 160 For prisoner returns, see New York Gazette November 14, 1757 ; Alonso Fernndez de Heredia to Julin de Arriaga, May 31, 1758, AGI SD 2542 B, reel 20
45 Palacio, who saw the Creeks as who like The new governor believ ed that a strong arm was needed to keep the Creeks in line In particularly, he was det ermined to maintain the boundary between the Spaniards and the Indians at the St. Johns River. 42 The conflict between the Creeks and Palacio developed immediately after the two parties met in November 1758 A large delegation of Lower Creeks from various towns under Laziche from the point town of Osochi travelled to St. Augustine to greet and establi sh good relations with the new g overnor. Palacio in turn, informed his guests that they should not dare cross the Picolata [St. Johns] River without his (the governor's) permission, because he would they should understand that they were dealing with a strong and valiant Mico ( the Creek word for chief ) Creeks. The natives replied that if one of their mico s Because of the behavior, the warriors declared that "from this time on no one would leave Florida because they would be killed." 43 Although t he Brahmins of Coweta renewed their ancient friendship with the Spaniards in 1759, most Creeks went to Florida to make war. After a short lull in the bloodshed two Spanish f ishermen heard discharges in the San Nicolas (Jacksonville) 42 Robert Kapitzke, Reli gion, Power, and Politics in Colonial St. Augustine (Gainesville: University Press of Florida, 2001), 165 Florid a Historical Quarterly 72 (July 1993): 1 18. Lucas Palacio y Valenzuela to Julin de Arriaga, St. Augustine, August 15, 1760, Stetson Collection, ree l 52 43 555 John T. Juricek, Georgia and Florida Treaties, 1763 1776 vol. 12, Early American Indian Documents: Treaties and Laws, 1607 1789 (Frederick, MD: University Publications of America, 2002), 466
46 area on January 30 They hurried to St. Augustine to report the news G overnor Palacio dispatched a squadron of sixty four soldiers to overtake the perpetrators. When they arrived on the scene th ey found a wounded Christian Indian, who explained what had happened. He and four other mission Indians voluntarily left the safety of the missions "to live at their ease" around San Nicolas. They were sleeping around their camp fire that night when they w ere overtaken by fifty Creek warriors who killed his comrade s and mortally wounded him. ( He eventually died in St. Augustine two days later. ) T he Spani ards were determined to catch the culprits. On the first morning of Febr uary, the military overtook the warriors near the St. Johns River and decimated them 44 All was qui e t again for a period of several months. Then, on May 23, forty Creek warriors descended upon a few so ldiers outside of Fort Picolata. They killed one and captured others. The warriors relea sed one of the prisoners to deliver a message to the waiting for him, but t he governor did not respond. On June 2, twenty warriors attacked an isolated Spanish soldier near Santo Domi ngo. W hen the c avalry attempted to overtake the att ackers the natives disappeared from the scene leaving a trail of thirty dead cattle. Palacio refused to be content to enforce the St. Johns River boundary. He went on the offensive. On July 10, 1759, the Governor sent out 200 men to engage the warriors, b ut i t was a p ointless excursion, because most of the warriors had returned home for Busk. In the spring and summer of 1760, all was calm near St. Augustine. Governor Palacio fancied that through his bravery d. T he Lower Creeks he declared, 44 For Tugulki, see Lucas Palacio y Valenzuela to Julin de Arriaga, St. Augustine, July 3, 1759, AGI SD 2542 B, reel 20 Fort the attack on January 30 see Palacio y Valenz uela to Julin de Arriaga, February 16, 1759 The attackers were allegedly from the town of Eufala.
47 e ven to pass the St. Johns River. The simply occupied elsewhere as English partisans in the English Cherokee War. 45 The Cherokee War began as a backcount ry skirmish between frontiersmen and Cherokee warriors in the summer of 1758, but escalated into a full scaled conflict by 1760. Governor Ellis hoped to aid the war effort by recruiting Lower Creek warriors, but found this very difficult on account of the recent friendship between the Cherokee s and Creeks. T he Creeks would only agree to a vague promise of support if the Cherokees attacked Georgia. This was not enough for Ellis He pondered: "Nothing would contribute more to our safety than those two Savage Nations at variance I am using my utmost endeavours to that purpose." In typical Ellis fashion, the governor admitted: "Whist I am negotiating Publicly I am working in private with the straggling parties of Creeks that occasionally visit me." Ellis's frie nds, Mary Bosomworth and Edmund Gray were vital to the recruitment of those straggling partisans who included the regular cast of characters. T he Cowkeeper announced his intentions "to try what he can do against the Cherokees, for he [the Cowkeeper] neve r will forsake us." T he Long Warrior of Oconee (Wehofkee) and White go out against them and bloody the path, As the English partisans set out against the Cherokees, Ellis hoped that some would not return alive. 45 548, 550, 554 555. Lucas Palacio y Valenzuela to Julin de Arriaga, St. Augustine, August 15, 1760, Stetson Collection, reel 52
48 death would compel the rest of the Creeks to end their precarious neutrality with the Cherokees and avenge their kinsmen. 46 The Creeks, especially those of Coweta, were well reque sted th e governor to stop sending the straggling partisans against the Cherokees because the Creek Nation declared its neutral ity Although Ellis bestowed praise and presents upon the Cowkeeper, the Long Warrior, and the other veterans of the Cherokee War the same warriors felt a cold welcoming in Creek country where there were "great Struggles the partisans, who endeavor to effect a Rupture with the Cherokees, and the Majority of the Nation." The Creek Seminole schism was on the horiz on in 1760. 47 Back in Florida the short tempered Palacio was enraged at the partisans, who were finishing off the south Florida natives and continually warnings ing of 1761, the rash governor threw gasoline on the fire by sending an expedition of Yamasees and free blacks from Fort Moosa to settle the score. On June 24, 1761, the Spanish force of non Spaniards sur prised the hunters at Santa Fe. The Creeks scattered into the forests, returned fire, and then disappeared The attack happened so quickly that they left behind their blankets, ammunition, and dead The Lower Creeks lost about a dozen that day, whereas the Spanish fo rce only suffered two 46 Ste ele, Warpaths: Invasions of North America 228 Coleman and Ready, Colonial Records of Georgia 28 pt. 1: 227, 231, 246 2 48 ; Pennsylvania Gazette April 3, 1760 ; South Carolina Gazette March 8, 1760 47 Coleman an d Ready, Colonial Records of Georgia 28 pt. 1: 250 ; Sout h Carolina Gazette March 10, 1760 ; Urlsperger, Detailed Reports 17: 204 ; Boston Evening Post November 3, 1760.
49 casualties T he English were overjoyed. One paper remarked that "although the skirmishes between the Creek Indians and Spaniards have hitherto been but trifling, yet rupture with Spain, the present disposition of the Creeks towards the Subjects of that crown, will prove, it is thought, no unfavourable circumstance to this province and Georgia. 48 In June of the following year, large numbers of Lower Creek s set out from the point towns to attack the Spaniards at Fort Moosa and enact their revenge, but the Young Lieutenant of Coweta (Escochabey) stopped them. He informed the warriors that while in the Cherokee Nation, he learned that England and Spain offici ally entered into a state of war. He launched into an oration whereby he predicted that England would soon conquer hesitate to demand satisfaction for the murders committed nation of the Choctaws set upon to extirpate them." The or ation stoppe d the war parties in their track s. The Young Lieutenant set out for St. Augustin e to initiate the peace process, in which he brought Laziche, the head warrior in the Florida wars, to the peace table. Having completed the peace talks in August, 1762, 49 48 New York Gazette March 29, 1762 ; Palacio y Valenzuela to Julin de Arriaga, July 15, 1761 ; Boston News Letter April 23, 1762 49 South Carolina Gazette March 15, 1762 July 24, 1762, July 31, 1762, September 11, 1762, and October 16, 1762 ; Boston News Letter April 23, 1762 ; New York Gazette July 12, 1762 On the
50 The quasi peace came too late. That same month of August, the British army captured Havana after a two month siege. The Great War for Empire seemed to be heading toward s its natural conclusion, and few were surprised when news reached St. Augustine on March 16, 1763 that the conflict was over. What may have come as a surprise was the fact that the British exchanged the valuable island of Cuba in return for the unprofitab le colony of Florida. The Floridians began packing their bags. Even the remaining eighty nine Yamasee and five Apalachees huddled around St. Augustine voluntarily chose to follow the south Florida natives to Havana where they disappeared into obscurity and Creek and Seminole folklore. 50 The reoccurring theme of all of these episodes since 1754 was the widening division s between the English partisans and the nationalists of Coweta. The partisans fought for the British against Spanish Florida in direct opposi tion to the will of the Creek Nation, who wished to remain neutral. When the nationalists called for a cessation of bloodshed against the Florida Indians, the English partisans embarked on a mission of total extermination. To the displeasure of the nationa lists, the partisans befriended and protected the illegal traders and settl ers of New Hanover from hostile Creeks Lastly, the partisans completely disregarded the decrees of Coweta nationalists by waging war peace process, see Melchor Feliu to Julin de Arriaga, St. Augustine, February 20, 1763, Stetson Collection, reel 52 50 Fred Anderson, Crucible of War: The Seven Years' War and the Fate of Empire in B ritish North America, 1754 1766 (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2000), 498 For the transfer and evacuation, see Charles L. Mowat, East Florida as a British Province, 1763 1784 (Gainesvil le: University of Florida Press, 1964), 7 ; Spain, 1763 Hispanic American Historical Review 45 (November 1 965): 567 568
51 against the Cherokees. For all of these reasons the nationalists regarded the English partisans as Simarrones or Seminoles. Around the obliged to leave their respective Towns and go down there [Florida] for the purpose of the Alachua savanna, where they crudely constructed During the eighteenth century, this area of Creek settlement was often called New Oconee, Latchaway, or Cuscowilla. The Seminoles of Oconee were not the only Creeks to move to Florida. Other s some of a more Spanish partisan persuasion, followed the d by settling along the Suwannee River and in the Apalachee Old Fields area, near Fort San Marcos de Apalachee. In 1764, English officials estimated the number of Florida Creeks to be about 400. 51 51 On leadership of a new community, see Nairne, Muskhogean Journals 64 For quotation ("out of the way "), see Calloway, American Revolution in Indian Country 261 William P. Cumming, The Southeast in Early Maps ed. Louis De Vorsey, 3rd ed. (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1998), 91. Quotation ("lately built") found in John Gerar William De Brahm, Report of the General Survey in the Southern District of North America ed. Louis De Vorsey (Columbia: University of South Carolina Press, 1971), 228 Quotation ("hutts") found in Rolle, Humble Petition 48, 50, 53 For the New Hanover connection, see Place at the Right Time: The Creek Town of Alachua, the British Town of New Hanover, and the Role of 'Outlaw' Towns in the Southeastern Backcountry, 1750s For other indication s of Thomas Gage to John Stuart, August 18, 1764, Gage Collection, PKY reel 1 For population estimates, see John St uart to Thomas Gage, St. Augustine, July 19, 1764, Gage Collection, PKY reel 1
52 CHAPTER TWO THE MASK OF DIPLOMACY In the spring of 17 71, Chief Cowkeeper and the Long Warrior of Alachua led a party of seventy two heavily armed Seminole and Creek warriors against Smyrna: Dr. Greece, Italy, and Minorca. A n Englishman encountered the warriors on the path and and he and his warriors gath ered outside of Smyrna declaring their intentions to break ed safety, while Turnbull sent out se veral friendly invitations to the chiefs, who refused to meet with the doctor. 1 The situation would have gone from bad to worse had not a cattleman a 1 Frederick George Mulcaster to James Grant, St. Augustine, January 2, 1772, James Grant Papers ; Andrew Turnbull to James Grant, Smyrna, May 9, 1771, James Grant Papers ; Andrew Turnbull to James Grant, Smyrna, May 27, 1771, James Grant Papers For an overview of New Smyrna history, see Epaminondas Panagopoulos, New Smyrna; an Eighteenth Century Greek Odyssey (Gainesville: University of Florida Press, 1966) Talk, and Why They Can't: Domination, Deception, and Self Deception in Indian Comparative Studies in Society and History 29 (January 1987): 3 23
53 wake of the departu 1771). The warriors, r ealizing that they were not dealing with an ordinary planter, suddenly changed to have [a] friendly talk headmen apol ogized for the misunderstanding and informed the doctor that they were settlement of Spaniards and Yamisies on Cape Florida advised the warrior s that no such settlement existed to the south. 2 deception. When the warriors departed allegedly to search for the mysterious Spaniards, Turnbull sent a few of his peo ple to shadow th eir movements and see if they were farther than this place to that his first impulse was correct: the alle ged Spanish and Yamasee settlement at Cape excuse they made after I had found means to make them lay aside their first intentions which they before declared were against this settlement 3 nfluenti al St. Augustine officials. The Alachua Creeks under the Cowkeeper and Long Warrior were notoriously pro English and anti Spanish, but the doctor suggested that the simplistic caricature was not only flawed, it was a pretentious mask of deception. Lieutenant Governor John Moultrie (1771 paranoid delusions. Moultrie did not eve n believe "a tenth of the story, and compa red 2 Turnbull to Grant, May 9, 1771 ; Turnbull to Grant, May 27, 1771 3 Ibid.
54 Turnbull and his settlers to s ome younger peopl e," who "have been brooding over frightful things at [the] dead of night and hatched a thousand young airy devils to plague themselves with." towards the English, but they were gullible an d easily misguided by rumors. The warriors cannot see one reason to think they [the Seminoles] mean any of the Kings Subjects the performing theatrical acts of d eception, while their main audience, those high ranking 4 The Creeks that settled the Alachua savanna in the 1760s under the Cowkeeper invested so much stock into the distinction between the English and Spaniards, in which Spani sh sentiment, just like the context of English partisanship, became hollow and built on deception. The English of St. Augustine were now the new Spaniards, but worse. Before the 1763 Treaty of Paris, the subjects of Spain were so weak that their few 4 John Moultrie to James Grant, St. Augustine, June 10, 1771, James Grant Papers; Juricek, Georgia and Florida Treaties 483 484. Erving Goffman, Frame A nalysis: An Essay on the Organization of Experience (New York: Harper Colophon Books, 1974), 130 Also see, Erving Goff man, The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life (Garden City: Anchor Books, 1959); Victor Turner, From Ritual to Theater (New York: Performing Arts Journal Publications, 1982); Victor Turner, The Anthropology of Performance (New York: Performing Arts Journa l Publications, 1989); Richard Schechner, Between Theater and Anthropology (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1985)
55 coloni sts could only huddle around the ancient city of St. Augustine. The English, on the other hand, were growing frighteningly stronger. They brought in thousands of new settlers to places like Smyrna, and they constantly lusted for more Florida land, the sam e lands the Seminole Creeks claimed by right of conquest. trading partners, but since the end of th e French and Indian War were exceedingly quick to threaten and/or enact embargoes to force the Creeks into submission. The Spaniards of Cuba filled the void but instead of trading in the woods, the Cubans traded along the coast. A hushed, yet lively and p rosperous, exchange developed between Cuban fishermen and the Florida Creeks by the 1770s. Through these fishermen, the Creeks and Seminoles opened covert diplomatic and trade relations They even hoped the Spaniards would return to the mainland to offset the overly powerful British. In this new world of deception and role reversals, the only stable continuity with the past was the rift between the Seminole Creeks at Alachua and the Creek nationalists. he Creek Nation did little to ease the tension between the two groups. Confer ences were major venues of tension between the Alachua Creeks and the Creek Na tion. From one perspective, Creek leaders banished the Alachua s from participating in the ir councils, where t Vote. The Creek nationalists of Coweta sought their return to the Chattahoochee River by demanding that the Superintendent of Indian Affairs John Stuart cut "the detached
56 Villages" off from trade in order to "force them to rejoin their Nation for in their present situation they cannot be answerable for their Conduct." 5 Needless to say, t he Alachua Creeks had a different understanding. They were not expelled from the congresses. They boycotted them. The Cowkeeper discreetl y abstained fro m the 1765 Congress at Fort Picolata, alleging sickness in the family. The Long Warrior attended the congress, but curiously refused to speak accustomed to speak in Publ ic arrogant lou Seminoles, against those who belittled the Creeks of Alachua. The Alachua Creeks were more frank o n other occasions. In response to the proposed 1767 Congress at Pic olata, the Alachua Wild People." 6 In denying their wildness, the Creeks that colonized the Alachua savanna in the 1760s relied on their reputation as English partisan s. As the Cowkeeper aptly put it, "though he was called a Wild man by the Nation, it was not so, for both he and his people love the White [English] People, and never did them harm nor would." Living up to the standards of English partisans without the pre sence of the Spaniards was a difficult task that required donning of a theatrical mask of diplomacy that emphasized nostalgic memories of the good old days that had seemingly come to pass. This metaphorical mask, like any physical mask, was suited for spec ial occasions, especially ruptures between the English and Creek Nation. Although officials often failed to grasp the theatrics, s everal 5 For "no Vote", see the appendix of Rolle, Humble Petition 36 uoted in Calloway, American Revolution in Indian Country 251. 6 Juricek, Georgia and Florida Treaties 459, 467, 475 ("wild people")
57 East Florida governors remarked that the Alachua shown great marks of uneasiness and an an The Alachuas sought to deflect any possibility of being punished for the crimes committed by the Creek Nation. Although based on the exped iencies of the situation, the end result was reinforcing the distinction between the Creek Nation and the ostensive partisans at Alachuas, who were increasingly referred to as Seminoles, a term that sometimes applied to all Creeks living in East Florida. 7 The Faade Although the mask of diplomacy associated with English partisanship was always present, the facade became increasingly difficult to sustain after the French and Indian War. The Creeks in general utcome. the utmost contempt and insolence There was a pervasive rumor in Creek country that with the French and Spaniards gone, the British would seek revenge for pas and then take away their l ands. in case the French and Spaniards should be taken from them 7 Juricek, Georgia and Florida Treaties 478 ("never very troublesome"), 487 ("Wild Man") Patrick Tonyn to Lord Dartmouth, St. Augustine, September 23, 1774, CO 5/555, PKY reel 66 B ("uneasiness")
58 we [the English] have no right to possess the lands that were never given to us, and they will oppose all our attempts that way." This was exactly what many did. 8 At the news of the transfer in 1763, Chief Tonaby of Coweta consulted with the said English from establishing themselves at any point on the west coast, and on some portions Apalachee Old Fields about thirty five miles away from Fort St. Marks (San Marcos de Apalach ee). When Captain Jonathan Harries took control of the fort on February 20, men were afraid of gathering firewood or collecting water. One visitor note When the Superintendent of Indian Affairs, John Stuart, arrived in Apalachee in the fall easingly clear when Temper 9 8 Providence Gazette June 25, 1763 ; Allen Candler, ed., Proceedings and Minutes of the Governor and Council, January 4, 1763 to December 2, 1766 Colonial Records of the State of Georgia 9 (Atlanta: Franklin Turner, 1907), 76 9 Florida Historical Quarterly 32 (October 1953): 110 111 For Forrester, see Florida Historical Quarterly 20, no. 1 (July 1941): 84; Robin Fabel, Gulf Coast Historical Review 1, no. 2 (1986): 10 For the
59 th e English military and settlers began pouring into East Florida. In particularly, the eports of Castles [that is, stone forts] being built th roughout this [the ry as he Creeks saw ther side of the Ri ver, u nless the British h ad something sinister in mind. Forts were a threat to Seminol e Creek land claims west of the St. Johns R iver Upon the arrival of the earliest East Florida settlers, the Alachua Creeks west of the river. They made this attitude well known, and few Englishmen even dared to March, 1765 when his Indian guide abandoned him at the advice of a hostile Seminole hunting party. The surveyor gave up his mission fearing that he wou the Indian Headman called the Cowkeeper." the British if they crossed the St. Johns River. 10 Unfortunately, the frequent declarations of the Creeks did little to halt the flood of land speculators and settlers into Creek hunting territory. Large numbers of settlers 402 404 ; Rolle, Humble Petition 52 Stuart's observations found in Juricek, Georgia and Flo rida Treaties 452 10 For few travelers and objections to forts and settle rs, see Rolle, Humble Petition 5, 7, 44, (Appendix) 32 33 ke American Indian Quarterly 22, no. 1/2 (1998): 164 Juricek, Georgia and Fl orida Treaties 456 458 ("no Occasion") For De Brahm's experience, see Cumming, The Southeast in Early Maps 91 New York Mercury March 19, 1764("way lay") For general Creek attitudes towards forts, see Braund, Deerskins and Duffels 153
60 poured into the northwestern part of South Carolina, and on Christmas Eve, 1763, a party of Coweta Cre eks took matters into their own hands by killing fourteen sett l ers at a settlement known as Long Canes The outraged g overnor of South Carolina, Thomas Boone (1761 1764), exclaimed: "It is too plain a proof, I am afraid, that they [the Creeks] are not to b e reclaimed by good offices, that they disdained your proffered friendship, and are really dangerous and inveterate enemies; as such they must be treat ed ." 11 The Alachua Creeks were likely sympathetic to the bloody statement made at Long Canes: the settlers needed a geography lesson. At the same time, the Alachuas w ished to avoid the unpleasant repercussions of the Long Canes murders. Like most Creeks, the Alachuas and they set out to distance the mselves from the attackers by donning the mask of diplomacy before Major Francis Ogilvie transition period from Spanish to English rule The Cowkeep er sent a runner to inform the m ajor that the Up per Creek s and Choctaw s to hearing several similar unsubstantiated reports, but considered this report more weighty coming from the Cowkeeper who the major regarded as ed Creek Partizan." In direct opposition to the hostile Creek s the wrote to his superior, General Thomas Gage, challenging the opinion of Governor Thomas Boone who saw w ar w Ogilvie reported that t he 11 For the Creek concern of armed surveyors in their hunting grounds between the Altamaha and St. Johns rivers, see Coleman and Ready, Colonial Records of Georgia 28 pt. 1: 408, 428 429 The Long Canes incident reported in New York Gazette January 30, 1764 ; February 20, 1764 ; May 7, 1764 ; Georgia Gazette February 2, 1764("enemies")
61 Creeks same mask before S uperintendent John Stuart, who walked away from his encounter in the summer of 1764 with a favorable impressi who were eir protestations of Friendship. 12 Their theatrics were a success. After a party Creeks murdered a British subject on the path from St. Marks to Pensacola, Governor James Grant defended the innocence of the Alachua End, but to make them believe, that I considered them as Parties in a Thing with which they have not the most distant Counexion [sic] the British settlement of East Florida was a facade that covered their underlying suspicions of the British. 13 The Alachua Cr eeks were land, in all America." Governor Grant privately natives ] may pre tend to have to the new Country. ernor Patrick Tonyn ( 1774 1783), 12 Mowat, East Florida as a British Province 9 ("virtual governor") Boston Evening Post Septemb er 26, 1763 ("Partizan") Francis Ogilvie to Thomas Gage, St. Augustine, March 25, 1764, Gage Collection, PKY reel 1 ("hitherto") Francis Ogilvie to Thomas Gage, St. Augustine, July 20, 1764, Gage Collection, PKY reel 1 ("bad talk") Stuart's comments found in Juricek, Georgia and Florida Treaties 452 13 Rolle, Humble Petition 60, (Appendix) 2, 36.
62 right in any Land the Spaniards called the Province of East Florida." The Seminole Creeks, on the othe r hand, believed that Florida was theirs by right of conquest. 14 The question over who controlled Florida played out at the Treaty of Picolata in 1765, in which the main issue under discussion was establishing a boundary between the East Florida English se ttlers and the natives. Governor Grant donned the mask of Grant assured his native au of the proceedings was that the Creeks and English agreed upon a boundary line that essentially the same bord er between the Creeks and Spaniards, who could not help but see the poetic justice day when the English, unable to gather firewood from the forests, would be forced to own h omes. 15 Although absent from the proceedings, the Cowkeeper later traveled to St. Augustine after the departure of the Creek delegation, where he agreed to the boundary 14 Patrick Tonyn to Lord Dartmouth, St. Augustine, December 18, 1775, CO 5/556, PKY reel 66 B ; James Grant to Board of Trade, July 30, 1763, CO 5/540, PKY reel 66 B ; Patrick Tonyn to William Drayton, St. Augustine, December 18, 1774, CO 5/555 15 Juricek, Georgia and Florida Treaties 455, 465 .
63 c break out into War, nor be jealous about new Settlements, or even complain of it out of a did not remove their suspicions. The Alachua Creeks continued to believe that the English had designs of taking and selling their lands. Indeed, Governor Grant was unhappy at the results of the Picolata congress and still sought more lands between the St. Johns and Creeks however thought that too much land had already been ceded i n Georgia and Florida. By 1770, the center of the opposition to Florida land grants came not from the from their Nation, and live at Alatchaway, near St. Augustine, and in the neighborhood of 16 The Florida Creeks h osted an encore performance of the masked theater during the next major rupture in Creek English relations in the mid 1770s. The crisis developed 16 For the Cowkeeper and Picolata, see James Grant to Thomas Gage, St. Augustine, January 13, 1766, Gage Collection, PKY reel 1 ; Juricek, Georgia and Florida Treaties 467 For the alleged happiness ; De Brahm, Report of the General Survey in the Southern District of North America 224 For examples of English land lust and Alachua opposition, see Juricek, Georgia and Florida Treaties 479 482 ; John Stuart to Cpt. Aleck et al., December 17, 1766, Gage Collection, PKY reel 1 ; James Grant to Earl of Hillsborough, St. Augustine, May 15, 1769, CO 5/550 ; Adair, History of the American Indians 359
64 to their merchants, who called for the debt to be paid in land. The Cherokees obliged by ceding lands in northern Georgia that were also claimed by the Creek Indians. The governor of Georgia, Sir James Wright (1761 1782) bullied the Creeks into formally accepting the land grant i n June, 1773, in which the Creeks relinquished their land claims east of the Ogeechee River and north of the Altamaha. 17 A sizeable faction of the Creeks refused to accept the new boundary. That winter, Creek warriors and surveyors exchanged bullets near th e Oconee River, a region that the Creeks never officially ceded. Violence erupted once again the following winter when a group of Cowetas and Cussetas from an out settlement called Standing Peach Tree ( Pucknawheatly ) discovered the corpse of an accused nat ive horse thief near the new home on the Ogeechee River. On Christmas day, seventeen warriors enacted their revenge by murdering the entire White family of six. The s ame party returned on January 14, 1774, and a battle broke out, in which four warriors died. More returned the following The warriors ambushed a company of militia men from Augusta, killing the lieutenant and seven others, leaving the remaining thirty two soldiers to flee for their lives. In the aftermath of these violent exchanges, Georgians concluded that "it is now beyond a 17 J. Russell Snapp, John Stuart and the Struggle f or Empire on the Southern Frontier (Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1996), 116 147 ; Edward J. Cashin, Lachlan McGillivray, Indian Trader: The Shaping of the Southe rn Colonial Frontier (Athens: University of Georgia Press, 1992), 271 290 ; Alan Gallay, The Formation of a Planter Elite: Jonathan Bryan and the Southern Colonial Frontier (Athen s: University of Georgia Press, 1989), 130 131
65 Doubt that the Creek Indians are our Ene mies, and that they mean to extirpate us if they 18 The violence on the Ogeechee River sent tremors throughout the southeast. Governor James Wright united all the southern colonies to declare a general embargo against all Creeks regardless of their inv olvement in the killings. On February 14, East in East Florida. Lieutenant Governor Moultrie at St. Augustine wondered if the East Florida Creeks should be lumped in with the culprits of the Christmas killings. He asked the Cowkeeper if the Alachuas were for peace or war. Moultrie asserted "I will not claimed complete ignorance of the bloodshed on the Ogeechee River. Although he denied would." The Long Warrior e and expressed his sorrow for what had happened. The officials at St. Augustine accepted their talks as sincere, and Moultrie informed his superior that "the defection of the Creek nation is not gene ral." 19 18 New York Journal February 18, 1773 April 7, 1774 ; Essex Gazette February 15, 1774 ; New York Gazette March 7, 1774 ; New York Journal Ap ril 21, 1774 For a slightly different narration of events, see Braund, Deerskins and Duffels 159 19 For Wright's embargo, see Allen Candler, ed., Colonial Records of the State of Georgia vol. 12 (Atlanta: Franklin Turner, 1907), 408 409 ; Mowat, East Florida as a British Province 24 For the Alachuas reaction, see Juricek, Georgia and Florida Treaties 484, 485, 487 ; John Moultrie to Secretary of State, St. Augustine, February 21, 1774, CO 5/5 54, PKY reel 66 B
66 enforce the total embargo for the East Florida Creeks. He only stopped the exchange of weapons related commodities. Tonyn rationalized his actions by claiming that the East les to draw a line of difference, between th giving each a different receptions b ehavior. 20 theater, most planters derived their knowledge of the Alachuas from first hand exp erience. Planters regarded their neighbors as violent drunks and notorious thieves, who frequently stole horses, cattle, and other provisions. Moreover, they noted that the y East Florida planters fled their plantations in fear of an attack from the local Alachuas. The Alachuas, in turn, began looting abandoned plantations. Even Governor Tonyn, who was so adamant that there was nothing to fear from the Alachua Creeks, felt co mpelled to send out parties of British troops to show the locals that they were prepared for war. a spectacle. Animosity and distrust boiled beneath the surface of q uietude. 21 20 For the embargo in Florida, see Candler, Colonial Records of the Stat e of Georgia 12: 405 406 For Creek Seminole distinction, see Tonyn to Lord Dartmouth, September 23, 1774 21 Rolle, Humble Petition 10 11, 13 14, 39, 48, 56 ; Andrew Turnbull to James Grant, Smyrna, October 28, 1771 ; Moultrie to Secretary of State, February 21, 1774 ; Patrick Tonyn to Lord Dartmouth, St.
67 The Alachua Creeks were in a dilemma. They unwisely put all their diplomatic eggs into one British basket, but now they were becoming disillusioned with the English, who were lusting after their lands, threatening to cut off their trade, and suggesting that they rejoin those that despised them in the Creek Nation. In their predicament, the Alachua Creeks began to reassess not only their relationship with the English, but also "their former Enemies in order to make the most of them." The Spaniards, after all, did not disappear entirely from Florida. Cuban fishermen frequently visited the coast where Florida Creeks, traded with Cuban fisher William Bartram spoke to an unnamed Florida merchant who divulged that he attained some very essential articles, on more advantageous terms than he could purchase at 22 As students of colonial Native American history are well aware, commerce was a great part of the Na tion Augustine, May 19, 1774, CO 5/554, PKY reel 66 B ; Louis LeClerc de Milford, trans. Geraldine de Courcy (Chicago: Lakeside Press, 1956), 83 22 in British Florida and the Progress of the American Revolution, ; James W. Covington, Florida Historical Quarterly 38, 114 128 (October 1959): 116 119 Grant to Earl of Hillsborough, May 15, 1769 ("former enemies") Bartram, Travels 194 The growing trade between Cubans and natives is one reason for explaining the decline of pelt exports from St. Augustine: 6,348 pelts in 1770, 3,990 pelts in 1771, and 468 pelts in 1772 ( Mowat, East Florida as a British Province 78 ).
68 live near them a s they should then be better off than now & that they have offered them Lands about the River Apalachicola for priests. As English relations declined in the 1770s, some Creeks approached the Cubans with their plans of waging a against the English if they are pro vided with arms and 23 The Alachua Creeks did not change their opinions o f the Spaniards overnight, but the first step towards the Alachuas overcoming their animosity towards the Spaniards likely came from the cues of their Sawokli Creek neighbors on the Suwannee River. Although the Sawoklis lived just below the Oconees on the Chattahoochee River, they were notoriously pro Spanish since the seventeenth century. As such, they were After the Spaniards left, some of them under the White King settled the town of Talahasocht e on the Suwannee River in order to keep in touch with the Spaniards by way of the Cuban fishermen. The Alachuas befriended their fellow neighbors and in time, the Oconee and Sawokli became intermixed through marriage. 24 23 Florida Historical Q uarterly 21, no. 2 (October 1942): 137 138 ("Great part") Progress Mark F. Boyd, ed., 1763 Florid a Historical Quarterly 21: 100 ("pitiless war") 24 For Sawokli in 1763, see Bentura Diaz to Conde de Rivilla Gigedo, San Marcos de Apalachee, November 6, 1763, Stetson Collection, reel 52 I am th e first to identify the Sawokli as the predominant settlers on the Suwannee River. This assessment comes largely from Spain in the Mississippi Valley, 1765 1794 vol. 4 (American Historical Association Annual Report, 1945), 239 For travelers to the Suwannee, see Boyd, Florida Historical Quarterly 12 (January 1934): 121 ; Rolle, Humble Petition 50, 53 St. Augustine, see
69 The English of St. Augustine were aw are that Cuban Creek intercourse was taking place, but they lived in a fantasy world where native disaffection was nearly inconceivable, because the Florida Creeks were so passionately anti Spanish and pro English. The Cubans and natives just happened to m eet incidentally at the same spots along the coast. The English were wont to believe that the natives were still unwavering in their hatred of the Spaniards, who were obliged to give presents to the English loving nt the accidents and attacks which they [the Spaniards] were accustomed to in Florida." 25 William Bartram grappled with the real and fantasy world of Cuban native manners and customs of the Alachuas, and most the lower Creeks or Siminoles, appear and understood Spanish, and there were even several baptized Catholics among them. bservations were so peculiar because they clashed with English preconceptions of the Seminoles. Those natives were supposed to be unwavering in their deep seated hatred of all that was Spanish. When faced with such anomalies, Bartram, like most English obs ervers, clung to the anti Spanish, pro English caricature. 26 The closest St. Augustine offici als came to comprehending the nature of Cuban native contact occurred after the 1773 Christmas killings, when Lieutenant Governor 25 Grant to Earl of Hillsborough, May 15, 1769 ; James Grant to Earl of Hillsborough, St. Augustine, March 27, 1770, CO 5/551 26 Bartram, Travels 164.
70 Moultrie noted in passing that Spaniard alone that they could get any Arms or Ammunition, in case of a rupture with us. was overshadowed by his belief that the natives were nearly passive participants in Cuban contact. They most certainly did not seek Cuban aid. Rather, the Cubans attempted to seduce the Creeks away from th e English. Moultrie accused the Spaniards of has a bad effect on some of the no effect on the Headmen, or any great part of the nation the mask of diplomacy at face value, but disaffection was growing underneath the mask 27 The mask of diplomacy, the hidden Spanish relations, and Seminole C reek conflict reached new levels of complexity during the American Revolution. While other colonies sided with the rebels, East Florida was a bastion of Loyalism. Governor Tonyn remarked: "East Florida is still at the bosom of the mother Country; it cannot support or exist, without her care, affection, and benevolence." Recently, Colin Calloway produced a well researched essay on the Seminoles during the American Revolution, in which he Calloway highlighted how the revolutionary era led to an increased English consciousness of a Creek Seminole division. This was more a political tactic than an 27 Moultrie to Secretary of State, February 21, 1774.
71 ethnographic realization. As fighting broke out, Governor Tonyn advocated recruiti ng the Indians as military allies, because he believed that "t he Indians settled in the Province would on, Tonyn declared that all natives in East Florida were Seminoles, not Creeks, and therefore, Tonyn, not Stuart, had jurisdiction over Seminoles. 28 Although Tonyn was certain of aid from the Seminoles, he admitted with some I have reason t o think, as well of the Creek Nation." hesitation proved correct. Many in the Nation chose to remain neutral. Others, namely traveled to Cuba seeking Spanish aid. In February, 1776, Tonyn called on the Cowkeeper to guard the Georgia Florida frontier, but the chief was reluctant to provide military assistance without knowledge of the will of the Creek Nation. Tonyn noted how "the Cow keeper and Seminoli es are very much afraid and stand i n great awe of the Creek Nation, and therefore decided to send Commissary David Taitt into the Nation to gain the Nation did not approv e of participating in the war effort. Nevertheless, the Cowkeeper decided to ignore the national dictum and participate in the war effort of 1776 and 1777. His performance was so spectacular that the new Superintendent of Indian Affairs, Thomas Brown, sing led the Cowkeeper out for his heroic display of loyalty during the American Revolution. It was just like old times, and as before, the 28 Patrick Tonyn to Lord Dartmouth, St. Augustine, June 14, 1775, CO 5/555 ("bosom") Patrick Tonyn to Lord Dartmouth, St. Augustine, July 22, 1775, CO 5/555 ("g o any where") Calloway, American Revolution in Indian Country 257
72 English gestures came at a cost. When the headmen at Coweta learned of the Alachua Creeks involvement in 29 Although most lauded the Florida Creeks for their Loyalism, William Drayton was one of the few Englishmen to notice a massive disaffection among the Seminoles. He went so far as to label the locals a "domestic enemy." 30 By 1778, the Florida Creeks had totally disaffected from the British cause. The Cowkeeper told a Spanish spy named Don ready to wage a war intelligence gathering purposes to satisfy the royal order of Fe bruary 28, 1776 that Eligio was not attempting to form an army of disaffected natives against the English. 31 Seminole deception and Cuban contact went hand in hand. In ear ly 1778, Chief 29 Calloway, American Revolution in Indian Country 258 260; Martha Condray Searcy, The Georgia Florida Contest in the American Revolution, 1776 1778 (University, AL: University of Alabama Press, 1985), 86 ; Tonyn to Lord Dartmouth, July 22, 1775 ("reason to think") Juricek, Georgia and Florida Treaties 501, 502 30 Mowat, East Florida as a British Province 114 ; Calloway, American Revolution in Indian Country 259 262 31 114, 122 23.
73 unnerved by the Spanish flag flying high in the town square ground. The lieutenant instructed Tonaby to take the flag down. Tonaby apologized and insisted that he was finished with the Spaniards, who he despised for lying and misleading him. Needless to inued. When the British became aware of the continued presence of Spaniards in the Apalachee region, they became concerned again. Under further inquiry, the natives admitted that a Spanish commissary came to their town, and they admitted to accepting his g ifts. Then to console the British, the natives insisted that they murdered the Spaniard on the spot. The British ndians were too politic for the British. 32 The man they allegedly murdered was Don Francisco Ruiz del Canto, who was still alive after two junket s to Apalachee in 1779 and 1780. The Spaniard met with about demo nstrations of rejoicing signs of affection greatly desired was to employ themselves in the service of the Great King of Spain." They announced that t hey all li ve disgustedly with the English, rn to the peninsula "would be the happiest day which they had ever seen." 33 Not long thereafter, the natives had their wish come 32 For Tonaby's flag, see Ibid., 112 ; Howard F. Cline, Notes on Colonial Indians and Communiti es in Florida, 1700 1821 Florida Indians 1 (New York: Garland Publishing, 1974), 98 99 For British denial, see Document s of the American Revolution, 1770 1783 vol. 18 (Shannon: Irish University Press, 1972), 57 58 ; Documents of the American Revolution, 1770 1783 vol. 20 (Shannon : Irish University Press, 1972), 290 33 Francisco Ruiz del Canto, Havana, September 26, 1779, AGI Cuba 1290, f 221 223; Francisco Ruiz del Canto, Havana, February 14, 1780, AGI C uba 1233, f 630 635.
74 true. The rebels won the revolution, and according to the Treaty of Versailles, Spain would return to possess East and West Flor ida. The Second Transfer When word arrived of the pending transfer in early 1783, Governor Tonyn had the unpleasant task of confirming the news before a Creek and Seminole audience. Conspicuously absent from the proceedings was the Cowkeeper. As usual, he boycotted Cowkeeper sent his right hand man, the Long Warrior, who, in typical Long Warrior fashion, stood silently while the conference was in open session. Once the c onference ended, however, the Long Warrior pulled Brigadier General Archibald McArthur and that if he meant to throw away the Land to send Vessels to take them off, as the y were determined to follow their friends." Of course, this theatrical gesture never materialized, and the Alachuas never joined the Loyalist exodus to the Bahamas. 34 While the Long Warrior stood silent, a metaphorically masked warrior named Kinache of Lake Miccosukee took the center stage and declared: "The King and his formerly lived here they were the Enemies to the Great King the English put 34 Joseph Byrne Lockey, ed., East Florida, 1783 1785 (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1949), 109 110.
75 Weapons into our hands the land belonged to them. The English at St. Augustine existed because the Seminoles and Creeks allowed it at the Picolata Congress of 1765. Even though the Creeks at Miccosukee Lake played a small role at best in the American Revolution, Kinache hatchet for the English at a time we could scarce and "have lost in the Service a number of our people." Kinache could not understand how King conquered? Or does he mean to ab friendship with the Spaniards and rhetorically asked: "Do you think we can turn our faces we will not take oved by these theatrical declarations of the least doubt their aversion to the Spaniards is insurmountable 35 T he Spaniards, who anticipated returning to Florida after the American Instead, most Spanish observers in 1783 derived their knowledge of the East Florida from wild repor ts from the departing British. Such rumors and hostile words by natives like Kinache created a sensation in the European press. John Adams, who was in Europe at 35 Ibid., 138 140 ; K.G. Davies ed., Documents of the American Revoluti on, 1770 1783 vol. 21 (Shannon: Irish University Press, 1972), 168
76 Semin displeasure of the Indian partisans of the Loyalists, or of the British crown, because they had been abandoned and Florida handed over to the Spaniards. Later I saw another article in one of the English papers." 36 Meanwhile, more and more extravagant reports poured in from the loyalists o Del Campo rightfully admitted that much of this news was questionable. It could be "false, true, or exaggerated." es and annoyances when the treaty goes into effect." In May, the Spanish governor of the Bahamas learned from "a schooner [that] arrived from Florida, [that] it has been rumored that the Indians are every day killing ten or twelve English because they are turning over the province to the Spanish." The next day, an unnamed correspondent at St. Augustine wrote back to id what they had 37 What were the Spaniards walking into? The newly appointed Spanish Governor of East Florida, Vicente Manuel de Zspedes, admitted: "For present my greatest worry is 36 John Adams quoted in Joseph J. Ellis, American Sphinx: The Character of Thomas Jefferson (New York: Vintage Books, 1998), 88 Lockey, East Florida 138 139 37 Ibid., 111, 138 139, 172 173.
77 assimilation program in East Florida that would have surely set off a bloody conflict, Zspedes wisely chose to ackn owledge but not obey. Instead, he believed that a policy of gave them to prevent their noticing the least change in their treatment. Otherwise grave 38 The arriving Spaniards believed that if anyone could help, it was the departing rrival of gave a detailed description of the Indian situation to Count Bernardo de Galvez y Madrid. great pleasure to unite to your Excellency's the British influence with the Indians." Superintendent Thomas Brown also gave Zspedes a crash course in Indian affairs. 39 One point remained clear: the key to successful diplomatic relations was providing a re liable source of commodities. The overtaxed and overregulated Spanish commercial system was no match for English prices and goods. Zspedes remarked: arrived with som of a Loyalist firm called Panton, Leslie, and Company, Governor Zspedes acquired enough gifts to please the natives. Thomas Forbes, a member of the Panton firm, summed up the situat 38 Ibid., 211. 39 Ibid., 223, 395 Helen Hornbeck Tanner, Zspedes in East Florida, 1784 1790 (Miami: University of Miami Press, 1963), 80 81
78 price cannot fail to establish friendship with them." Since Zspedes felt the survival of the new colony depended upon preserving the notion that Florida was not undergoing any sign since I have reliable information that if we are not as attentive to the Indians as the English are (so say the Indians themselves) they will establish a new trade with the Americans." 40 when the Spaniards held their first conference with the Creeks and Seminole s. Zspedes informed his audience that "The kings of Spain and England are at present bound together in the bonds of friendship and brotherhood. They have buried the tomahawk and has changed. Spaniards as you have been with the English, understanding that you will receive from us the same good treatment and good faith as from them." As for trade, "y ou will supply the wants of your people and families as hitherto, in the warehouses of Panton, Leslie and Company." 41 The conference went over well, and all of the predictions of mass bloodshed disappeared into thin air. Although the departing English clai med that the natives of Alachua would be the most difficult to win over, the headmen of the town informed the Spaniards that they desired to live in peace and friendship with the Spanish governor, 40 Lockey, East Florida 161, 178, 273. 41 Ibid., 280 283.
79 lachuas were perhaps the most frequent visitors to St. Augustine during the early period of 1785 to 1788. 42 The only problem was that the English speaking world believed that a massive Seminole uprising was on the horizon or already occurring. In what appe ars to be a reference to the above mentioned congress, the American press reported: "Nothing can the Cowkeeper did not attend the September congress, nor did he accept Spanish presents, but not before the arrival of Zspedes in July, 1784, the Cowkeeper died. Carlos Howard, who wrote the first obituary for the Cowkeeper, mentioned no dramatic death, and one is led to believe that the Cowkeeper quietly passed away of natural causes at an advanced age Thomas Payne. 43 The Hapless Wanderings of William Augustus Bowles 1788 On October 26, 1787, fireworks filled the sky over Nassau, New Providence in the Bahamas, to celebrate the arrival of the former Royal Governor of Virginia, the 42 Carlos Howard to unknown, St. Augustine, 1784, East Florida Papers, reel 44 Perhaps the Florida Papers, reel 167 43 For the Cowkeeper, see New York Packet December 19, 1785 ; Howard to unknown, 1784 For other sources on Payne and his ident ity, see Juan Nepomuceno de Quesada to Chiefs and Warriors of the Seminole Nation, Platica, January 6, 1792, East Florida Papers, reel 43 (mentions his first na me) ; Spain in the Mississippi Valley, 1765 1794 239 (mestizo) ; American State Papers, Indian Affairs vol. 1 (Washington D.C.: Gales and Seaton, 1832), 392 (Payne identifies himself as mestizo)
80 infamous Lord Dunmore who was accompanied by his good friend John Miller of Miller, Bonnamy, and Company. Not long after arriving, Lord Dunmore and Miller learned of startling developments in Creek Country, where a full scale war broke out in 1786 between the Creeks and Georg ians over land rights. Initially, the Creeks were winning. The only problem was maintaining a reliable source of ammunition from feared that natives were becoming too indepe courting secessionist American frontier movements in Kentucky and Tennessee. his influence over Panton, Leslie, and Company to re duce the flow of weapons related commodities into the Creek Nation. The Creeks felt betrayed. 44 Lord Dunmore and John Miller saw these recent developments as opportunities to not only influence events on the mainland, but also to consolidate power in Nassau Key members of the highly profitable Panton, Leslie, and Company were also leading figures at the news that Panton, Leslie, and Company had fallen from grace in the eye s of the Creeks. Dunmore and Miller hatched a filibustering scheme whereby Miller would 44 For Nassau, see Daily Advertiser December 7, 1787 ; J. Leitch Wright, William Augustus Bowles, Director General of the Creek Nation (Athens: University of Georgia Press, 1967), 26 28 For developments in the Creek Nation, see John W. Caughey ed., McGillivray of the Creeks (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1938), 152 note 94, 165 For Spain and the American frontier movements, see Arthur Preston Whitaker, The Spanish American Frontier, 1783 1795 (Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1927), 90 122 ; Patricia Watlington, The Partisan Spirit: Kentucky Politics, 1779 1792 (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1972), 133 187 ; Thomas P. Slaughter, The Whiskey Rebellion: Frontier Epilogue to the American Revolution (New York: Oxford University Press, 1986), 3, 30, 107, 156, 199, 212
81 to carry out their plans, they recruited a strange character named William Augus tus Bowles. Bowles was a discharged Ensign from the Loyalist Maryland Division, who spent some time with the Creeks during the war. He later joined the Loyalist exodus to the Bahamas, where he became a stage actor and portrait painter. 45 In the late spring of 1788, Bowles appeared in Alachua introducing himself as a the newspapers. He informed the locals that if the Spaniards and Panton, Leslie, and Company would not supp ly them with arms in their moment of need, his organization would. This was too good to be true. King Payne and the rest of Alachua received the stranger warmly. Bowles promised to return by the end of the year with the war supplies and soldiers to aid the Creeks and Seminoles in their war against the Georgians. The natives agreed to bring Bowles and his men a large number of horses upon his return. Everything seemed to be falling into place. In September, 1788, Miller, Bonnamy, and Company publically opene d rendezvous house in Nassau, where they recruited about fifty soldiers. In late September, the members of the expedition departed from New Providence on route to the Indian River. 46 fully acquainted [the troops] with the object and intent of the said Expedition were embarking on an unofficial filibuster expedition. Many assumed the closeness that 45 Milford, 81 ; Mississippi Valley in the Period of Washingto American Historical Review 10 (January 1905): 271 Benjamin Baynton, Authentic Memoirs of William Augustus Bowles (New York: Arno Press, 1971), 45 47 46 Caughey, McGillivray of the Creeks 195 John Hambly to John Leslie, St. Johns Conception, September 14, 1788, East Florid a Papers, reel 8
82 existed between the governor and organizers implied that they were on an o fficial mission. Nevertheless, nobody could recall an instance where the governor publicly supported their expedition. While the Bowles expedition waited for the natives to arrive with the horses, they conducted military drills by daylight and relaxed by m oonlight. During this time, the troops learned more of their mission by overhearing the conve rsations that passed in the Eve nings over the pipes between Bowles and Bonnamy at Indian River The troops assumed that their mission was to attain revenge again st the Americans by joining the local natives against the state of Georgia. This assumption the first and primary object of the Expedition was to plunder burn and destroy the said Indian Store of Panton Leslie & Co. on t he River St. Johns s tall tale, this would be an easy task, because the leading headmen King & Commander in Chief of the Cr eek Nation Being the influential man that he was, Bowles bragged that as they marched into Indian country, 1000 to 1500 native warriors would join them. 47 s confidence was unwarranted for many reasons. Despite the aura of secrecy surrounding the e s plans and they were waiting for him. The recruiting process in Nassau caught the eyes of a Nassau resident named Thomas Brown, the former Superintendent of Indian Affairs during the Revolution. Brown informed G overnor Zspedes that Bowles and his men planned to land in East Florida, join the Indians, and attack not only against Georgians, but also the 47 Lawence Kinnaird ed., Florida Historical Quarterly 10 (October 1931): 82 84.
83 trading houses of Panton, Leslie, and Company. Governor Zspedes approached the local natives about the affair. King Payne was in a predicament. He kept silent about Bowles for months, but it appeared the plans were falling apart. Moreover, Payne was offended at s dishonesty. Although the chief would have supported an expedition against the Georgians and an a s designs of replacing one monopoly with another. King Payne admitted that Bowles had fooled him with extravagant promises and lies, but the chief promised that it would never happen agai n. 48 Bowles was unaware that his position among the local natives had changed. Provisions were running low after waiting for nearly a month at the Indian River for the natives to arrive with the horses. Bowles calmed their fears by insisting that soon they the troops expected that upon entering Indian country, the natives would gladly bestow a however, did not happen. When the expedition reached the first village on the first of November, a little corn and some pumpkins of Indians approached Bowles and warned him that the expedition was in danger. The s 48 Nassau, 1788, East Florida Papers, reel 17 ; Tanner, Zspedes in East Flo rida, 1784 1790 192 Hambly to Leslie, September 14, 1788 ; Janice Borton Miller, Juan Nepomuceno De Quesada: Governor of Spanish East Florida, 1790 1795 (Washington D.C.: University Press of America, 1981), 103
84 who t this news greatly disconcerted and appeared in manifest consternation. 49 Rather than taking his force of fifty into battle against an unknown force Bowles decided to go to his friends at Alachua, who were so kind earlier that year. If the Spa niards attacked, the Seminoles of Alachua would surely join them, given their pro English, anti Spanish heritage. The march from the Indian River to Alachua was long, and the men were tired and starving. Along the way they resorted to foraging for sustenan contrary to expectations very coldly received by the Alachua Indians and with difficulty obtained a small quantity of peas not pursu determined to return to his original plan. They would march back to sack the trading house. 50 The men grumbled. This was not what they expected when they signed up for service in Nassau. The plan was to help the Indians attack the evil Americans. Instead, they planned to rob William Panton, a fellow Englishman with strong ties to the Over 1000 n atives would join their march, said Bowles. In reality, the natives were reluctant to even feed the troops. Others lied to them. Bowles tried to rally the soldiers. The march would be easy, he said. It was only forty miles. The troops had other ideas, name ly, desertion. Some left that night surrendering themselves to the Spanish troops 49 Juan Galphin to William Augustus Bowles, September 17, 1788, East Florida Papers, reel 43 Kinnaird 84 50 Ibid., 84 85.
85 guarding the Indian store. Meanwhile, the deserters kept pouring into Spanish settlements in small groups. In the end, as many as forty of the approximately fifty members of s expedition surrendered to the Spaniards. 51 froze. Rather than attacking the fort, Bowles wrote a letter to the commander of the small Spanish detachment guarding the stor e He claimed that he was leading a group of volunteers against Georgia when he accidently stumbled upon the Spanish post guarding property. As for the deserters, the Sp aniards could do with them as they wished. 52 When over four fifths of an army deserts, something had obviously gone wrong. William Augustus Bowles read the newspapers. Were not the Alachua Seminoles just waiting for someone like him to come along and save them? Were not they inflexible partisans of the British and inveterate enemies of the Spaniards? Bowles lived in the same fantasy world as most Englishmen, who could not imagine that the natives would side with the Spaniards when offered an English altern ative. All the while, the original Seminoles settled in the Alachua savanna in the 1760s adapted in ways that the English could not have foreseen. Because of the mesmerizing effects of the mask of diplomacy, combined with English arrogance and naivet, the English could not recognize what was plain to see. They mistook diplomatic statements of friendship as genuine protestations, 51 Ibid., 85 ; Florida, November 24, 1788, East Florida Papers, reel 2 ; Havana, March 13, 1789 East Florida Papers, reel 1 52 William Augustus Bowles to Carlos Howard, Mr. Hambly's Store (Concepcion), November 15, 1788, East Florida Papers, reel 45.
86 despite all the signs to the contrary. The English flattered themselves that the natives would cover the peninsula with Spanish b lood following the English departure from Florida, but that never happened. Such misconceptions even led Bowles and his men to go on wild adventures that were contrary to expectations.
87 CONCLUSIONS SEMINOLE GENESIS ON TRIAL Throughou t the above discussions, one fact remains unsaid: the genesis of the Seminole Indians and their early history has hardly been an esoteric inquiry. On the contrary, it was incredibly politicized. To grapple with comparable issues, the philosopher Michel Fou knowledge. Foucault believed that not far removed from the will to power. is not made for understanding; it is made for cutting." The most devious part of the power knowledge affair i s the uncanny ability of discourse not only its point of origins, but also its original motivations of perpetuating power. 1 For all practical purposes, there was lit Seminole history until the United States Congress issued the Indian Claims Commission Act of 1946. As one mid century scholar noted, prior to the act process and details related to the origin s and evolution of th ese Creek b ands in early eighteenth century Florida have been obscure a ct called for the establishment of the 1 Language, Counter Memory, Practice ed. Donald F. Bouchard (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1977), 154 ("cutting") ; Michel Foucault, The History of Sexuality: An Introduction trans. Robert Hurley, vol. 1 (New York: Vintage Books, 1990), 100 ("joined") Also see, Michel Foucault, Power/Knowledge: Selected Interviews and Other Writings, 1972 1977 ed. Colin Gordon (New York: Pantheon Books, 1980), 52
88 Indian Claims Commission (ICC) to provide a long awaited outlet for Native American grieva nces against the United State s g [Indian t The American military de stroyed their homes during the First Seminole W ar (1817 18), after which Americans forced t he Seminoles under duress to relinquish all claims to F lorida and sign over 30 million acres of land at the 1823 Treaty of Moultrie Creek. With the creation of the ICC, t he Seminoles of Florida and Oklahoma filed claims in 1950 and 1951 that were later con solidated for trial. For the 1823 treaty alone, the collective Seminoles claimed $37,500,000 plus interest. When combined with other land claims, the natives sought $47,782,975 plus interest. With such high financial stakes involved, there was a sudden and battleground between those who fought for or against compensation. 2 In 1956, officials at the Department of Justice called on an archaeologist named Charles H. Fairbanks to work with the governmen t in combating the Seminole land claims case. For Fairbanks, who had just completed his PhD that very year, this was an amazing offer. As long as Fairbanks testified for the government during the ICC hearings t he government would facilitate and fund the production et Fairbanks complied with a 300 page monument in early Seminole historiography 2 Cline, Notes on Colonial Indians and Communities in Florida iii ("obscure") For an overview of the ICC, see Nancy Oestrei Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science 311 (May 1957): 56 70 ; Annals of t he American Academy of Political and Social Science 436 (March 1978): 97 110 For an excellent overview of Claims Case, 1950 Florida Historical Quarterly 72 (July 1993): 35 55, especially 38
89 against the United States, partially as a result of long standing academic interest and 3 Fairbanks was not alone. The Justice Department also called on a historian named Howard F. Cline in 1959 to research Seminole origins. Cline remembered that the Justice Departm in litigation involved in the claims brought before the Indian Claims Commission by Depar tment not only aided him with the library staff at the Library of Cong ress, the l grow ing out of an official context," not represent the official views of the Library of Congress, or necessarily those of the United States Government." The curious word 4 Suspicions of mercenary scholars ran high during t he hearings. An extreme example occurred when the federal attorney, Maurice Cooper, interrupted the testimony of Dr. John K. Mahon, a military historian known for his works on the Second Seminole War (1835 1842) Mr. Bragman [the attorney for the Florida Seminoles] and his associates have written and appraised." It was s puppet for the 3 Perry W. Morton to Charles H. Fairbanks, Washington D.C., November 16, 1956, in Fairbanks, Ethnohistorical Report on the Florida Indians 2 Cline, Notes on Colonial Indians and Communities in Florida iii ("partially") 4 Ibid., i ii.
90 Seminoles. Feeling offended, Mahon replied "I don't know whether the counsel wishes to insult me by his statement or not, but I was quoting from the document I prepared for simplicity. Now, if you want me to go through all the photostats, it s perfectly all right with me. Just sound 'aye' and I will do it." There were no takers. This verbal exchange, as comical as it was, still represents how seriously politicized Seminole history became during the ICC hearings. 5 Aside from producing merce nary scholars, t he court ushered in a major discursive shift away from rights of conquest to rights of aboriginality by insisting, at least initially, we have learned, the Seminoles proudly claimed their homeland by right of conquest, as did many natives. Their forefathers consciously embark ed on a mission to kill, enslave, or otherwise drive off the remaining Florida natives, which they finally accomplished by the 1760s. Likely at the behest of their lawyers, the Seminoles of Florida sidestepped the issue and filed a petition on August 14, 1 950 claiming exclusive occupancy to Florida since "time suit claiming Seminoles as "outlaws" and insis ting that all awards should go to the Oklahoma s so powerful during the early years of the ICC that even Morton Silver, the lawyer of the Miccosukee Seminoles fervently 5 Indian Claims Commission, Seminole Indians of Florida vs. United States 218 219.
91 researched the historical records to claim h Miccosukee rejected the ICC affair and rejected monetary compensation. 6 Once the trial began, such claims to aboriginality could not go unquestioned. The defense for the US Government placed a significant empha sis on the argument that there opening address, Maurice Cooperman declared: "We will adduce evidence to the effect that Florida was completely depopulated of its native Indi ans by 1715, by disease and day Florida Indian could truthfully say that they are descendants of the aboriginal natives who occupied Florida during the first Spanish dominion." 7 the Assistant Attorney General, Perry W. Morton, first requested Fa Morton portion, if any, of the approximately 30 million acres which were relinquished to the 6 "Aboriginal title is based upon the exclusive use and occupancy of an area of terr itory by a land owning Indian entity Determination of whether a claimant has such title is a question of fact which depends on historical evidence of actual occupation of Indian Claims Commission Decisions (Washington D.C.: The Commission, 1948), vol. 24: 214 For a great Columbia Law Review 75 (April 1975): 655 686 ; 64 ; Review Essay William and Mary Quarterly 35 (January 1978): 112 On Florida Oklahoma Seminole rift during the ICC, For Miccosukee 121 For examples of other conquest legends, see James Mooney, Myths of the Cherokee (New York: Courier Dover, 1996), 20 ; Journal of American Folklore 34 (July 1921): 254 268, especially 264 265 7 For "no continuity," see the appendix of Ethnohistorical Report on the Florida Indians 343 For Cooperman's opening address, see Indian Claims Commission, Seminole Indians of Florida vs. United States 328 329
92 United States by the 1823 treaty, had been in the actual and exclusive occupancy of the Florida Indians from time im etween 1685 and 1708 the Indians of Florida, both mission and pagan were virtually dest following 1710 was one in which the Florida area was for a time almost uninhabited." case (Quapaw Tribe of Indians et al. v. U nited States) whereby the court decided: When an Indian tribe ceases for any reason, by reduction of population or becomes the exclusive property of the Unite d St ates as public lands, and the 8 The a tough case to make. As Dr. John M. Goggin, a witness for the Seminoles, took the stand, Commissioner Willi am M. Holt initiated the historical discussion by stating: "Well, of course, I am interested in getting an outline of what the plaintiffs are claiming was the area that they al title by pointing to the 1765 Treaty of Picolata already discussed in chapter two. Later in the hearings, Goggin Seminoles were the ones that took the Apalachee Indians captive, and who probably 8 Perry W. Morton to Charles H. Fairbanks, Washington D.C., November 16, 19 56, in Ethnohistorical Report on the Florida Indians 2, 98 ("uninhabited") For the defense's case, see appendix of Ibid., 343
93 ties between the Seminoles and the earliest inhabitants." 9 As the first c hapter of this work alluded, the early Seminoles captured and kept a number of Florida native slaves, nearly all female. While visiting Alachua in 1774 William Bartram could not help but observe "the striking contrast betwixt a state of freedom and slaver hey differ as widely from each other as the bull from the ox." The children of a master slave relationship were not slaves, but still could not status. T hey were stigmatized and marginalized the ap parently the case by the 1820s, when one American observer remarked: that the Creeks have held a slav e race, descended from the Yama see nation, which has but 10 Ironically, the conquest, enslavement, and slow incorporation of the stigmatized centuries later when the Seminoles attempted to present themselves as those they formerly enslaved Such claims were certainly aided by a redefinition of as t he ICC decided that "aboriginal title need not exist fro m time immemorial; a long time is enough." Such 9 Indian Claims Commission, Seminole Indians of Florida vs. United States 90, 134 10 Bartram, Travels 164 For references to "slave ; Caleb Information Respecting the History, Condition and Prospects of the Indian Tribes of the ed. Henry Rowe Schoolcraft, vol. 5 (Philadelphia: J.B. Lippincott and Company, 1855), 259 260 ("honorary distinction") ; Essex Register April 21, 1825("recently")
94 native population of Florida which b Therefore, "the Seminole Nation had Indian title to an area which may be generally identified as all of Florida." 11 The conclusion of the case should have marked the end of the politicization of Seminole history, me rcenary scholars, and the myth of Seminole aboriginality. It should have opened the door for new and innovative research not tied down to the concerns of the ICC For reasons not entirely clear, Seminole history has become even mo re politicized than ever b efore. In 1992, the charismatic and controversial chairman of the Seminole Tribe of Florida, James Billie hired the author of (1991), Dr. Patricia Riles Wickman as a historical consultant for the tribe. Wickman was also the great grandni ece of Jacob Mickler, an Indian hating bounty hunter during the Second Semino le War. Wickman divulged that upset by Mickler and that Nevertheless, Wickman was essentia lly no different from other mercenary scholar s during the ICC era In an interview with Indian Country Today Wickman commented: "I report to the Tribal money wisely, and that I am doing things they and their cons tituencies consider 12 11 Indian Claims Commission, Seminole Indians of Florida vs. United State s 90, 134 ; Indian Claims Commission Decisions vol. 13: 333 ; Appendix of Ethnohistorical Report on the Florida Indians 348 12 Seminole Tribune May 5, 20 00 Pat Indian Country Today July 10, 2002
95 the Seminole Tribe of Florida was her 1999 book The Tree that Bends: Discourse, Power, and the Survival of the Maskoki People in which she resurrected the myth of Seminole aboriginality. She not only direct evolutionary descendants of the pre Contact also gh most Seminoles still cling to their more historically accurate T he Seminole he core of th e Seminole people did not lived and hunted all over the Florida peninsula for thousands of years before the coming of the English or the Spaniards. James Billie echoed her teachings by declaring in 2000: The United States has al ways tried to contend that we Indians were not always here, that we were some sort of immigrants, who just got here and have no rightful claim to the land or anything else. They have been saying this for years and even to this day you will hear someone sta nd up and say "You Indians are 13 specious arguments about Seminole aboriginality have dumbfounded scholars that have mistaken her work as historical scholarship rather than a political tract A reviewer of The Tree t hat Bends archaeo logist Brent Weisman, expressed his 13 Wickman, The Tree That Bends 1, 11 http://www.seminoletribe.com/history/faqs.shtml; accessed 4 January 2009. James E. Billie, Seminole Tribune October 20, 2000 Also see, Sarah Olkon and Martin Merzer, Miami Herald July 4, 2001.
96 premises of assumption and Seminole aboriginality was never about advancing human knowledge for the sake of knowledge. It was always about politicized cutting Wickm an crypti cally admitted as much when she wrote: "It is my contention that Euroamerican scholars have, wittingly or not, colluded in the projection of an American myth [of Seminole non aboriginality] one that has undermined Seminole land claims and, what is more, h as questioned the legitimacy of Seminole culture." Wittingly or not, Dr. Wickman does the Seminoles a great disservice by colluding in unsubstantiated theories about Seminole aboriginality to defend the tribe from losing a land claims case that has already been determined in the court of law. By teaching the Florida Seminoles that they are a boriginal Floridians, Wickman contributes to undermin ing Seminole culture by promoting an ironic, albeit false, consciousness whereby the conquerors relinquish their for mer identity and become the very people they conquered. 14 T he dark lega cy ay into Native American history is also apart of t he dark history of ethnohistory: a scholarly movement that rose to great prominence during the ICC era and is best sy mbolized by Fairbanks, Cline, and Goggin. For these reasons and more, many recent scholars have called for the abandonment of the tarnished such as anthrohistory, anthro pological history, or historical anthropology (If 14 Brent Weisman, review of The Tree that Bends: Discourse, Power, and the Survival of the Maskoki People by Patricia Riles Wickman, Southeastern Archaeology 22 (Sum mer 2003): 123 125. Wickman, The Tree That Bends 1
97 renounced from the scholarly lexicon, is m ore of a humdrum than a conundrum. Although consciously avoiding it by name, this work certainly owes much to the methodology of ethnohistory, in which historical documents are read with an eye for culture, but what I have attempted to achieve in this thes is is to go beyond the traditional concerns and methods of ethnohistory by infusing it with other influences, such as dramaturgical theory and discourse analysis. Its success is left open to the reader. 15 Before closing this work, there was one more intere sting, albeit often forgotten, drama during the ICC hearings that deserves recounting. On August 9, 1951, a group called the Creeks East of the Mississippi filed a suit seeking compensation for the lands north of the Seminoles. Later in the proceedings, af ter it became apparent that the d to compensation for most of Florida, including more than was awarded to the Seminoles." To argue their case, t he Eastern Creeks called on Dr. James F. Doster as an expert witness. Doster fulfilled the role expected of him by arguing that "the difference between the Indians in Florida and the other Creeks was something forced by white men over the violent objections of the Indians." 16 15 Annual Review of Anthropology 20 (1991): 345 375, especially 365. 16 Indian Claims Commission Decisions vol. 22: 10 15; vol. 35: 10; Doster, The Creek Indians and Their Florida Lands, 1740 1823 vol. l: 272.
98 to the argument that Seminole genesis was an arbitrary European invention. This paper has demonstrated that the arbitrary European invention model of Seminole genesis is without foundation. On the contrary, there was a structure to Seminole genesis, and it was a homegrown byproduct of a struggle between two competing Lower Creek factions: the nationalists and the ostensive partisans, in during the French and Indian War. Such partisans were From constant interaction with English colonists the partisans learned the art of cross cultural diplomacy. They knew what to say, when to say it, and how to act when delivering cross cultural messages. Lit erate Europeans, rather than arbitrar il y inventing anything, sat in the audience throughout this factional (often fictionalized ) drama playing the part of interpretive transcribers, who perhaps at times took more poetic liberties than they should have but largely played the part of literate dupes.
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Hawkins, Philip C.
Creek schism :
b Seminole genesis revisited
h [electronic resource] /
by Philip C. Hawkins.
[Tampa, Fla] :
University of South Florida,
Title from PDF of title page.
Document formatted into pages; contains 115 pages.
Thesis (M.A.)--University of South Florida, 2009.
Includes bibliographical references.
Text (Electronic thesis) in PDF format.
ABSTRACT: This work reevaluates commonly accepted interpretations of Seminole ethnogenesis in light of recent scholarship and previously ignored sources from the Spanish archives. It argues that Seminole formation was largely a bi-product of a struggle between two opposing Lower Creek factions: the Creek "nationalists" and the ostensive Creek "partisans" of the British. This factional struggle became increasingly bitter during the French and Indian War and ultimately led to a schism whereby the ostensive "partisans" of the British colonized of the Alachua savanna in the early 1760s to become recognized as the first Florida Seminoles. This work also raises questions about the ostensive Anglophile identity of the first Seminoles and suggests that such an "identity" was based largely on deception and theatrics. In closing, this work addresses the institutional basis of the myth of Seminole aboriginality.
Mode of access: World Wide Web.
System requirements: World Wide Web browser and PDF reader.
Advisor: John M. Belohlavek, Ph.D.
French and Indian War
t USF Electronic Theses and Dissertations.