I am posting my talk from a recent program I gave at the Marco Island Historical Society. Several people who could not attend wanted to hear it, so I am posting the entire talk here.
Collier County During the Seminole Wars
By Christopher D. Kimball (c) 2011
"Austere remembrance of the deed will hang
Upon its delicate spirit like a cloud,
And tinge its world of happy images
With hues of horror."
"The Florida war consisted in the killing of Indians, because they refused to leave their native home -- to hunt them amid the forests and swamps, from which they frequently issued to attack the intruders. To go or not to go, that was the question."
"Many a brave man lost his life and now sleeps beneath the sod of Florida. And yet neither these nor the heroes who exposed themselves there to so many dangers and sufferings, could acquire any military glory in such a war."
(From "The Army and Navy of America," by Jacob K. Neff, Philadelphia, J.H. Pearsol & Co., 1845.)
Indian Agent Wiley Thompson describes the Seminoles in 1833:
"The word Seminole means runaway or broken off. Hence Seminole is a distinctive appellation, applicable to all the Indians in the Territory of Florida, as all of them run away, or broke off, from the Creek or Nuiscoge [Muskogee] nation. The treaties made with the Seminole Indians embrace all the Indians within the Territory, except some bands on the Apalachicola river, who were provided for by a separate article in the Camp Moultrie treaty; and, subsequently, by treaties entered into immediately between these bands and the United States." (U.S. Congress (24th Congress, 2d Session), January 23, 1837; Report from the Secretary of War, In Compliance with Resolution of the Senate of the 14th and 18th Instant, Transmitting Copies of Correspondence Relative to the Campaign in Florida.)
[Below: Andrew Jackson and his troops, from the Florida state archives.]