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America's Hundred Years' War

U.S. Expansion to the Gulf Coast and the Fate of the Seminole, 1763–1858

Edited by William S. Belko

Publication Year: 2011

Conventional history narratives tell us that in the early years of the Republic, the United States fought three wars against the Seminole Indians and two against the Creeks. However, William Belko and the contributors to America's Hundred Years' War argue that we would do better to view these events as moments of heightened military aggression punctuating a much longer period of conflict in the Gulf Coast region.

Featuring essays on topics ranging from international diplomacy to Seminole military strategy, the volume urges us to reconsider the reasons for and impact of early U.S. territorial expansion. It highlights the actions and motivations of Indians and African Americans during the period and establishes the groundwork for research that is more balanced and looks beyond the hopes and dreams of whites.

America's Hundred Years' War offers more than a chronicle of the politics and economics of international rivalry. It provides a narrative of humanity and inhumanity, arrogance and misunderstanding, and outright bloodshed between vanquisher and vanquished as well.

Published by: University Press of Florida

Title Page, Copyright

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List of Illustrations

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p. vii

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pp. 1-24

As Americans proudly celebrated their nation’s 65th birthday—on July 4, 1841—how many of them at that moment could have anticipated that within the decade of the 1840s they would add to their Union a vast expanse of land, reaching from the Gulf of Mexico to the Pacific Ocean? Some, infected with...

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1. So in Fear of Both the Indians and the Americans

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pp. 25-40

William Pengree, a former British loyalist, fled to Spanish East Florida in 1786, feeling “so in fear of both the Indians and the Americans.” He was seeking asylum from the Lower Creeks and from his patriot neighbors. Lewis Fatio, Pengree’s neighbor in Florida and also a loyalist, received a warning the following...

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2. King Payne and His Policies: A Framework for Understanding the Diplomacy of the Seminoles of La Chua, 1784–1812

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pp. 41-53

The Seminoles of the La Chua area of north central Florida (today’s Alachua County) tend to attract only minor consideration in histories of the Creek Confederation. This is not due to historical oversight. The towns of Alachua— which consisted first of La Chua and Cuscowilla and later of Paynes Town...

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3. Epilogue to the War of 1812: The Monroe Administration, American Anglophobia, and the First Seminole War

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pp. 54-102

On a cold and wet morning in early March 1818, a sizeable contingent of U.S. regulars, militia, volunteers, and Creek warriors under the direct command of Major General Andrew Jackson departed Fort Scott in Georgia and crossed into Spanish Florida. The First Seminole War had commenced. Jackson’s ample...

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4. Mr. Rhea’s Missing Letter and the First Seminole War

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pp. 103-127

In March 1818, Major General Andrew Jackson, commander of the Southern Department of the United States Army, invaded Spanish Florida. He had instructions from President James Monroe’s War Department to chastise Florida’s Seminole Indians who had raided the Georgia and Alabama Territory and...

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5. Strategy, Operations, and Tactics in the Second Seminole War, 1835–1842

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pp. 128-154

Modern military terminology has been divided into three distinct categories as a result of studying Soviet concepts immediately after the Second World War. The word strategy today consists of the decision on national goals and objectives in a war. The “operational” art concentrates on getting the army...

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6. Seminole Strategy, 1812–1858: A Prospectus for Further Research

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pp. 155-180

In the study of warfare and national security, strategy is the level of scale at which objectives are chosen and resources are allocated to forces in the field. Modern military doctrine distinguishes between several levels of strategy, in the following descending order: coalition (sometimes called...

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7. “It is a negro, not an Indian war”: Southampton, St. Domingo, and the Second Seminole War

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pp. 181-208

In 1836, a little-known writer published a sensationalistic account of a series of dramatic events that were unfolding in the Florida territory. For the second time in a generation, the United States was going to war with the Seminole Indians in an effort to remove them from their land and clear the way...

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8. South Carolina Volunteersin the Second Seminole War: A Nullifier Debacle as Prelude to the Palmetto State Gubernatorial Election of 1836

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pp. 209-236

The South Carolina General Assembly on December 10, 1836, elected as governor thirty-eight-year-old Pierce Mason Butler, heralded as a Nullifier in the state’s recent clash with President Andrew Jackson over enforcement of tariff law. A committee of notables, including Butler’s friend Robert Howell...

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9. Forgotten Struggle: The Second Creek War in West Florida, 1837–1854

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pp. 237-260

Residents of the Florida Panhandle thought they had escaped the ravages that befell the rest of the territory during the Second Seminole War. However, in the spring of 1837, West Florida’s fortunes changed when Creek refugees from Alabama descended into the thick woods and swamps of the region. The...

For Further Reading

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pp. 261-265

List of Contributors

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pp. 267-269


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pp. 271-279

E-ISBN-13: 9780813045146
Print-ISBN-13: 9780813035253
Print-ISBN-10: 0813035252

Page Count: 288
Illustrations: 21 b&w illustrations
Publication Year: 2011

OCLC Number: 801840927
MUSE Marc Record: Download for America's Hundred Years' War

Research Areas


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Subject Headings

  • Seminole Indians -- Wars.
  • Seminole War, 1st, 1817-1818.
  • Seminole War, 2nd, 1835-1842.
  • Seminole War, 3rd, 1855-1858.
  • Seminole Indians -- Government relations.
  • United States -- Territorial expansion.
  • Gulf Coast (U.S.) -- History -- 18th century.
  • Gulf Coast (U.S.) -- History -- 19th century.
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