Andrew Jackson: Conqueror of Florida
In the early 1800’s, Spain had little control of their territory south of the border of the American border, Florida. Indian tribes often raided towns in Southern American, then back to Florida to safety. America’s new mission was to seize Florida from Spain in order to protect itself from further attack. It seems that the tough and volatile Andrew Jackson was the only one to do it.
Jackson’s nickname, Old Hickory, was fitting. Hickory was long held as the toughest wood in the forest, completely indestructible. Jackson lived up to his moniker. He previously earned recognition as an Indian fighter, and defeated the Creek tribes to carve out 23 million acres of land for the US, in what is now Georgia and Alabama. Some tribes even coalesced to fight this American madman. The Seminoles were aggressive and brutal, and they frequently crossed the border to attack American settlers, because they believed their land had been improperly seized. They did not recognize the legitimacy of these American claims, but in Florida, they could be protected. To Jackson, this called for the immediate invasion of Florida.
In Negro Fort, located in northwest Florida, slaves could escape from Georgia and take refuge. British soldiers armed them and clothed them. Indians eventually found weapons there too. In the eyes of Americans, the British would do anything to cause civil unrest. Jackson made a feeble attempt at diplomacy, but soon after began a march on Negro Fort. Jackson and his men killed 300 there. Any Seminole living in Fowl Town, adjacent from Negro Fort, would be driven out. The Seminoles carried out their revenge, causing Madison to order Jackson to drive them out.
Though most in Congress and in government at the time wanted Florida, seizing it might mean war with either Spain or England. Fresh off the near disaster of the War of 1812, war was not an option with much weight. Instead, Madison gave Jackson rather vague...
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