The Second and Third Seminole War

The Second and Third Seminole War

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After years of managing conflicts between the American settlers and Native Americans all along the east coast, the United States government passed the Indian Removal Act of 1830 which sought to relocate all Native Americans to newly established Indian Territory west of the Mississippi River. In Florida this meant the Seminole were once again to be displaced. Tensions rose and fighting began with the Seminole attack on Major Francis Dade and his troops who were en route to Fort King, and the almost simultaneous killing of the Indian Removal Agent, Wiley Thompson, and others at Fort King in December 1835. For seven years the warfare continued, eventually resulting in the removal of most of the Seminole population to Oklahoma. It was during this conflict that Osceola and Micanopy were captured by the U.S. Army under signs of truce. At the end of the war in 1842, a few hundred Seminole were permitted to remain in South Florida.


Settlers continued to push farther and farther south into the state, putting more pressure on the Seminole and making it nearly impossible for them to survive. The U.S. Army destroyed a Seminole plantation west of the Everglades in December 1855. The Seminole retaliated with an attack near Fort Myers. This set into motion the balance of the Seminole War which consisted mainly of minor raids. Many more Seminole, who had either surrendered or been captured, were relocated to Oklahoma. Those that remained lived deep in the Everglades and the Big Cypress Swamp – land that the white settlers did not want.

A lengthy conflict aggravated by broken promises and failed negotiations, the Seminole War spanned more than four decades.