Title and author
Osceola Fights to save the Seminole, written by Hatch Thoma
Date of Issue
American Heritage magazine 2012. Volume 62, issue 2
The article is a web version, link: http://www.americanheritage.com/content/osceola-fights-save-seminole
The story is about a young Indian warrior in Florida during 1830s. The warrior ensured that a war was waged against the government’s attempt to relocate his community in the west of Mississippi river. The great Seminole war in Florida is the main idea in the article.
The great Seminole war in Florida presented several challenges to the military in the early 19th century. Osceola, the leader of local army and Seminole militants, engaged the military in battle tactics that led to loss of several soldiers. United States’ army generals had to resign due to their failure in curbing the rise of Seminole militiamen. The great Seminole war in Florida was found due to the government’s attempts to relocate Seminole families living in the west bank of Mississippi river. Osceola led the war because of his hatred for the white people. Seminole people believed that the whites were a threat to their farming activities. The government wanted them to relocate to unproductive lands.
Seminole tribe was as a result of interaction between various Native American tribes who migrated from the north into the south. In 1812, the Greeks in Tallassee launched attacks on their white neighbors leading tom several deaths. The government decided to burn the villages forcing the natives to migrate. Osceola and his family members relocated to Tampa bay area. At Tampa bay, the government still had plans to move the Seminole tribe out of the region. After the election of Andrew Jackson in 1828, there were plans to relocate the Seminole tribe from west of Mississippi river to other swampy lands.
Andre Jackson asserted that the Seminole tribe was a destruction to progress. In particular, the president introduced the Indian removal bill to relocate tribes west of Mississippi river to other lands in the east. The relocation process had to undergo negotiations and deliberations. After the negotiations Seminole leaders agreed that the tribe should relocate. The decision was not accepted by Osceola who had become a leader and a role model to most of the youths in the region. In an attempt to resist relocation, Osceola organized his colleagues against Indian agent known as Wiley Thompson. The government and Indian agent summoned leaders such as Osceola in signing a treaty that would lead to their relocation.
A treaty was signed by leaders including Osceola so that the Seminole tribe could relocate. However, Osceola changed his mind by wielding swords over the agreement. The government ordered his arrest. While in prison, Osceola pledged his loyalty in signing of the treaty. In addition, Osceola received a rifle from Wiley Thomson for his pledge to the signing of the treaty.
The gun proved to be a lethal weapon used by Osceola to kill other tribal leaders whom he considered to be traitors. In 1833, Osceola confronted and killed Chief Charley Emathla. Then great Seminole war witnessed some of the worst failure of the military. General Scott failed to maneuver his army through the swamps. General Scott resigned after the press reported on his failure to fight the Seminole tribe under the leadership of Osceola. During the war, the United States armies were affected by disease such as malaria. Several soldiers were killed in the war due to diseases. After resignation of General Scott, governor Call made attempts to destroy all Seminoles.
In 1836, Governor Call was successful in killing over 40 Seminole tribe members. However, he could not win the war because he had few soldiers. General Jessup was then appointed to lead the military against the Seminoles. However, soldiers still encountered diseases such as malaria. Snake bites also led to horrible conditions during the war. Soldiers were forced to march in swamps. As a result of their success in killing many soldiers, Osceola became an honorable warrior among his people.
General Jessup was successful in devising war tactics and strategies against the Seminoles. His soldiers were able to kill dozens of Seminole soldiers. They were also able to destroy Seminole bases and camps. General Jessup’s success in the war was realized after Osceola contracted malaria. The remaining worriers in Seminole camp received advice from Osceola to fight rather than allow the government to occupy Florida. The renewed attacks convinced General Jessup that the only solution to the great Seminole was to sign a binding treaty.
Osceola was captured by General Hernandez who introduced war tactics that weakened the Seminoles. War captives were taken to a prison at Fort Marion in St. Augustine. The capture of Osceola and the continuing loss of his homeland weakened the warrior. Osceola died in 1838, three months after being captured. After his death, Osceola became the most popular and a respected Native American in the history of America. The death of the worrier was published in front pages of national newspapers all over the world. The Seminoles continued to resist against the government after the death of their leader, and by mid-19th century, nearly 100 members of the tribe were remaining in Florida. Nevertheless, the hostilities with the government were concluded in 1934.
The author used historical dates to present ideas. Particular dates and months in which the events occurred have been included in the article. Historical records and events that took place in the history of United States have also been presented by the author to support ideas.
The evidence is appropriate to the article. Historical dates and events persuade the audience that the war actually took place. Names of places and military generals also ensure that there is enough evidence to make the article persuasive. The story would not be persuasive without actual names of leaders who were in charge of the war. In addition, the Seminole tribe actually existed in American history. The Seminole war in Florida presents the 19th century government as an exploitative regime. It is impossible to believe that the government initiated wars against its own citizens. In addition, it is not easy to believe that ordinary citizens can resist the military for several years. The United States military lost several soldiers. The war also led to appointment of several military generals to change war strategies.
Historical evidence of presidents in 19th century makes the article persuasive. The article correctly states that there was a president known as Andrew Jackson in 1828. In addition, historical records concerning government bills drafted by the government to relocate tribes in Mississippi. In particular, the Indian Removal bill was established in 1828 to relocate tribes west of Mississippi river.