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March--Month of Impending Doom?

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My little flying squirrel was really friendly on Tuesday night and sat on my shoulder while I was on the computer for about 30 minutes. The little guy has never done that before, and is usually too squirmy when I let him out of the cage. He ran around on the table some, but didn’t plop down on the floor this time. The past three nights he has stayed hidden in some of the boxes in his cage. He seems lively enough and not suffering from the seizures that he did the past couple months. But I am a little concerned since he went from overly friendly to shy.

I have a job interview coming up in Palatka this week. An opportunity for a promotion. I like it down here, but I would be closer by half the time and distance to my parents, who need me to occasionally come over and change light bulbs. And I am tired of those dang mosquitoes down here. I would miss being away from the Seminoles and Miccosukees, but have to go where the work is. It looks like a really good opportunity at another state park. I might think about buying some cooler weather clothes, since it will be in the 40s at night this coming week, about 20 degrees cooler than here. But I will only be there one night, so I won't venture far from the motel.

Beware the Ides of March! (Metaphor for impending doom.) Well then, fortunately March is almost over. Here is what happened in Seminole War history in March.

27 March 1814--the Creek town at Horseshoe Bend in Alabama is destroyed by andrew jackson. One of the most tragic events in the history of America, where more Indians are killed in one day than I think any other event in our country's history. I already told more about it last year, so I don't want to get into it here.

March 1818, the First Seminole War began as the same andrew jackson invaded Spanish territory with 3,000 soldiers (1,000 of which were Creeks and Choctaws), established Fort Gadsden on the site of the previously destroyed Negro Fort. Next he headed towards the town of Miccosukee on Lake Miccosukee, and destroyed the largest Seminole/Miccosukee town in Florida.

28 March 1833 the Treaty of Fort Gibson (now Oklahoma) was signed. The result of President Jackson's Indian removal. The treaty was later declared void by the Supreme Court because of charges of fraud and deception by the Indian Agent John Phagan. But President Jackson still went ahead and used it as an excuse to remove the Seminoles from Florida. Aren't we seeing jackson's name an awfully lot?

March 1836--the Army has a bad time against the Seminole with many failed campaigns to remove them from Florida. South Carolina soldiers held up in Addison Blockhouse in what is now Tomoka State Park.

General Winfield Scott starts his failed campaign to round up the Seminoles in the Withlacoochee, and when it doesn't work, blames it all on General Gaines. Scott is held up and fired upon at the river near the same spot where Gaines was penned up the previous month, with the loss of several of Scott's personal musicians. One of the failures of the campaign was almost no concept of the distance and interior of the peninsula of Florida, which is why General Eustis never meets up with Scott's command, but instead has some pretty tough skirmishes on the St. Johns and burns the town of Okihumpky.

General Winfield Scott

Also on 14 March 1836, Richard K. Call becomes Governor of Florida, replacing John Eaton who makes a quick stage left because of the war. Eaton went on to become ambassador to Spain. A few years earlier, Eaton was shuffled out of Washington D.C. where he was Secretary of War under President Jackson because of the "Petticoat Affair," a scandal which caused most of jackson's cabinet to resign. They figured that they would make Eaton governor of that remote and quite territory of Florida in 1834, where nothing would happen to get anyone's attention.

March 1837, General Jesup conducts talks with a few Seminole & Miccosukee leaders to end the war at Fort Dade. Of course this fails too.

25 March 1837, in Alabama a heated battle of the 2nd Creek War along the Pea River near Hobdy Bridge. (Wherever that is.) The battle lasts for several hours with high casualties on both sides when the Alabama Militia overruns a Creek village. Unfortunately I don't have much information on this battle.

29 March 1837--a letter is published in Florida newspapers that creates uproar among the Florida citizens. President Jackson, displeased with the prolonged endurance of the Florida War, writes that he could take 50 Tennessee women and beat the Seminoles. (I know some TN mountain women--they're pretty tough--he could be right!) But jackson goes further to say that Florida women should let their husbands die so they can remarry and not have their children grow up to be cowards. This was one of AJ's closing remarks as his term of President ended, so he wasn't shy for words. (Not that he ever was.)

22 March 1838--soldiers overrun the village at Pine Island in Florida. I think this is the Pine Island ridge near what is now Fort Lauderdale/Broward County.

March 1840--several skirmishes up in Fort King and Alachua area. Methodist Minister McRea is killed between Micanopy and Wacahoota while riding the circuit, ministering to the soldiers in the various forts around Alachua county. He is buried on the spot, known as "Martin's Point." I always thought it would be something if his grave could be located again.

March 1841--Colonel Worth leads a campaign into the area of what is now the Ocala forest. When they come upon a Seminole encampment, they recover the cloak of Mrs. Montgomery and the coat of Lt. Sherwood, who were killed at Martin's Point on December 28, 1840.

5 March 1841--Coacoochee (Wildcat) shows up for peace talks on the Peace River, where the Seminole entourage is wearing costumes raided from a troupe of Shakespearean actors near St. Augustine the previous year.

A bit of an absurd cartoon from a book published in 1892 depicting the Seminoles wearing the actor's costumes.

And the worst sign of impending doom:

3 March 1845--Florida becomes the 27th State. But the announcement of statehood takes another three months to get from Washington D.C. to Florida. Government paperwork always takes the slow route. You can contrast that with when Mrs. Montgomery was killed in 1840, which only took 11 days for the Secretary of War in Washington to respond.

Current Location:
the hammock
Current Mood:
awake awake
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