|Date(s):||February 23, 1853|
|Course:||“ Culture, Power, and Society,” Rollins College|
|Rating:||3.5 (2 votes)|
The increasing immigration of America by Europeans forced the nation to begin expanding the land it needed. The idea of Manifest Destiny was prevalent throughout the citizens of the US, and each wanted his/her piece of land so they could start living out their lives. Florida was one the most lush and fertile areas in the country, and was prime location for more settlers who wanted to acquire property so that they could make some money. However, there was a large Native American population that had been living there for centuries. So, something had to give, and it ended up being the Native Americans.
For the Seminole Indians of Florida, this was a serious issue. Formed during the 18th century by Indians from Georgia, Alabama and Mississippi and former members of the Creek nation. When they were told to relocate, thousands did so, but several hundred stayed behind to stay and fight the settling whites as well as the government forces. During what is known as the Seminole Wars, the tribe fought, and killed, over 1500 American soldiers. This group can still be considered unconquered, because they were never truly defeated.
In 1853, the Governor of Florida passed a bill stating that any Indian captured in Florida would be sent west of the Mississippi. This was a major moment for Anglo-Indian relations in Florida, because it was the first document forced relocation in Florida history. It caused thousands of Seminoles to leave, and for those who stayed, they were forced to accept land that was a pittance compared to the land they had previously overseen.