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250  Epilogue The 1821 transfer of the Floridas to the United States was yet another blow to the blacks and Indians of the region as the advantageous conditions created by Spanish rule became a memory. This major setback was compounded when Andrew Jackson was appointed as Florida’s territorial governor .Acting in direct defiance of Secretary of War John C. Calhoun, Jackson’s first order of business was to send his Creek allies on a search and destroy mission against Angola.1 An eyewitness described the raid as having been orchestrated by “some men of influence and fortune residing somewhere in the western country, [who] thought of making a speculation in order to obtain slaves for a trifle.”According to the witness, approximately two hundred Coweta Creek Indians proceeded down the west coast of Florida“in the name of the United States”to capture as many blacks as possible and to bring them to a“secret”location.When the party arrived atAngola,the Indians“surprised and captured about 300 of them, plundered their plantations, set fire to their houses, and then proceeding Southerly captured several others.” For the residents of Angola who were refugees from Prospect Bluff via Miccosukee, this was the third time they had seen their community destroyed by the United States and its Indian allies. The Creek raid against the last major bastion of black and Indian resistance in Florida was so successful that the witness described it as a “terror” that spread along the western coast of East Florida, [and] broke all the establishments of both blacks and Indians, who fled in great consternation. The blacks principally thought they could not save their lives but by abandoning the country; therefore, they, by small parties and in their Indian canoes doubled Cape Sable and arrived at Key Taviniere, which is the general place of rendezvous for all the English wreckers. . . . An agreement was  251 Epilogue soon entered into between them and about 250 of these Negroes were by the wreckers carried to Nassau and clandestinely landed. On the 7th October last, about 40 more were at Key Taviniere, ready to make their departure for Nassau; these were the stragglers who found it difficult to make their escape, and had remained concealed in the forests. . . . [They are all] runaway slaves, from the planters of St. John’s River, in Florida, Georgia, Carolina, and a few from Alabama.2 After this latest reversal the blacks felt that freedom could only be achieved outside North America. For some this would be possible, for others not. Many of the captives appear to have been reenslaved by Americans or Creeks. However, as was illustrated by Mary Ashley’s relentless pursuit of her rights and freedom thirty years later in Cuba, even these unfortunate people never gave up their belief that they were British subjects by virtue of what had happened at Prospect Bluff. Not all the maroons were captured in the Indian raid. One small group of refugees from Angola fled the raid and merged with a number of Red Sticks. Together they formed a community called Minatti at the Peace River headwaters.3 Other refugees managed to escape and join scattered bands of their Seminole and Red Stick allies. In twenty years many of these blacks and Indians, along with their children, would fight the United States armed forces once again in the Second Seminole War. However, in the meantime, the blacks and Indians who remained in Florida were dealt yet another blow in 1823 when the Seminoles were coerced into signing the Treaty of Moultrie Creek. The treaty ceded all the Indians’ land in northern Florida to the United States in exchange for a cash settlement and the creation of a reservation in central Florida in which they and their black allies were forced to live. For nearly one hundred and fifty years, blacks and Indians from across the Southeast had sought to resist the harsh realities of Anglo America’s plantation society by fleeing to the vast expanses of Florida.Shifting geopolitical dynamics had finally led to the expulsion of the Spanish and the advantageous conditions that their rule created. By the 1820s the strength of the American military and the weight of the plantation complex had consumed Florida, leaving few places to run and resist. The ascendancy of American slavery, aided by the might of the American armed forces, at the expense of black and Indian interests was symbolized in a pair of profound changes to the Florida...

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Additional Information

ISBN
9780813048390
Print ISBN
9780813044545
MARC Record
OCLC
854521605
Pages
320
Launched on MUSE
2013-10-21
Language
English
Open Access
N
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