The First Semole war of 1817

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WARS - First Seminole War


The First Seminole War (1817-1818) began when settlers attacked Florida Indians and the Indians retaliated by raiding isolated Georgia homesteads. Americans believed Spain had incited the Seminoles against the white settlers.

The First Seminole War (1817-1818) began in earnest this year with a U.S. invasion of East Florida to punish hostile Seminole Indians, whose territory had become a refuge for runaway slaves. American troops on July 27, 1816, had destroyed the Seminole stronghold of Fort Apalachicola, on the river of that name. On December 27, 1817, General Andrew Jackson took command, with orders to pursue the Indians across the Florida boundary. Jackson marched his troops into Florida and captured St. Marks on April 7, 1818m and Pensacola on May 24. In the course of his campaign, jackson seized two British traders, Alexander Arbuthnot and Robert Ambrister. He accused them of aiding the enemy and had the former hanged and the latter shot.

There was a great outcry in England and considerable criticism in Washington. Nevertheless, popular opinion approved the campaign, which brought East Florida under American control and resulted in its cession to the U.S. by Spain in 1819.