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Jackson, Andrew

A History of Florida


War Declared. British and Indian Conspiracies. In 1812 war was declared between the United States and England. About the same time it was discovered that the Indians of the west bad joined in a plot against the white, settlers. The great Shawnee chief, Tecumseh, came south to persuade the southern Indians to join in the plot. He was very eloquent and many of the Creeks and Indians of other tribes joined him. His plans were aided by British agents at Pensacola, who encouraged the Indians to make war on the Americans, and furnished them with arms.

What was the effect of this expedition? What brought these hostilities to an end? What was the great Indian plot of 1812?

Creeks destroy Fort Mims. Many women and children had taken refuge at Fort Mims, a few miles north of Mobile. On August 30, 1813, the chief, Weatherford, a nephew of McGillivray, Jed a thousand Creek warriors against the fort, took it by surprise, and killed and scalped every person in it.

Jackson at Horse Shoe Bend. It was now that General Andrew Jackson marched from Tennessee, and in a hard-fought campaign, ending in the victory of the Horse Shoe Bend, march 27, 1814, completely broke the power of the Creeks to the British nation. Some of them went to Pensacola, others into the interior of Florida, but they were no longer to be feared as they had been.

Weatherford's Surrender. There is an interesting story of Jackson's generosity at the time of Weatherford's surrender. The chief came to the general's tent and gave himself up. "Kill me, if you wish." he said, "but I come to ask you to help our women and children who are starving in the woods. They never did you any harm." Jackson could be merciful as well as brave. He not only sent food to the women and children, but also spared the chief's life and sent him away safe and free.

How was the British using the Indians? Tell of the Fort Mims massacre. Where was Fort Mims? I low did Jackson retaliate Tell of Jackson's generosity to Weathrford.

British Agents at Pensacola. Spain either could not or would not prevent the English from having agents at Pensacola and Apalachicola Bay to arm the Indians against the United States. In August, 1814, a British fleet entered Pensacola Bay with the consent of the Spanish government and raised the British flag over the forts. The Indians of the surrounding region were now openly engaged to make war on the Americans and were supplied with arms and ammunition. The streets of Pensacola were full of Indians in British uniforms marching and drilling.

Jackson marches against Pensacola. Jackson determined to put a stop to all this. He raised a force of three thousand volunteers from Tennessee and Kentucky and, joined by other troops, marched against Pensacola. On November 6,1814, he camped less than two miles from the Spanish fortifications and sent forward an officer with a flag of truce to the governor. The officer was fired upon, and Jackson immediately demanded the surrender of the town. When the governor refused to surrender, Jackson determined to take the town by storm. This was not an easy thing to do, for Pensacola was well protected with a fort and several batteries, and there were several war ships in front of the city.

What was going on at Pensacola? How was this to be stopped? Who composed Jackson's army?

Pensacola Surrendered. Jackson marched his troops around the town at night, and in the morning advanced rapidly from the east. Two batteries tried to stop their march, but these were soon captured. Soon after, the Spanish governor with his escort came to meet the Americans and offered to surrender. Jackson received the surrender and marched on into the city. On their way down the principal street the Americans were fired upon by the British marines, but returned the fire with such effect that the British with their Indian allies were glad to make their escape to the ships, and sailed away. The Indians were left at the mouth of the Apalachicola and gave much trouble later.

Jackson remained at Pensacola two days, then, after destroying the fort and batteries, he left the place in the hands of the Spaniards and hurried on to New Orleans.

It is said that when the Spaniards began rebuilding the f ortifications, the British Captain Nichols offered to assist. But the governor declined, saying that if he needed help, he would call on his friend General Jackson. Pensacola was taken on November 7. Just two months later Jackson won the great battle of New Orleans.

Negro Fort taken by Colonel Clinch. After they were driven from Pensacola, Captains Percy and Nichols built a strong fort on the Apalachicola and made it headquarters for arming Indians and runaway negroes to make war against the frontier settlements of Georgia and Alabama. This was kept even after peace was declared. The fort was commanded by a negro, Garcia, and was known as the Negro Fort. After waiting a year and a half for it to be abandoned, the United States authorities decided to wait no longer. Colonel Clinch was sent against the fort, and attacked it with 116 men and some Creek allies. One of the hot shots struck a powder magazine and blew up the fort, only a few of those in it escaping death. The Spanish negroes were given over to the Spanish agent and the runaway American negroes were taken charge of by Colonel Clinch. The negro commander and a Choctaw chief were put to death. A quantity of ammunition was taken from a magazine that had not been injured, and more than two hundred thousand dollars' worth of property was found in the fort. The Americans suffered no loss at all.

Destruction of Fowltown. After this, vessels could navigate the Apalachicola River with less danger, but the attacks oil the border settlements of Georgia and Alabama by the Seminoles and runaway negroes continued.

What defenses bad Pensacola? What became of the British? Of the Indian allies? How and to whom did Jackson leave Pensacola? What was Jackson's next great achievement? What and where were the further operations of the British agents? What was their fort on the Apalachicola called? What steps did the United States authorities take? What were the results of the expedition? What was gained by the destruction of the "Negro Fort"? What danger still existed?

In November, 1817, General Gaines tried to arrange an interview with Enermathla, one of the chiefs. The chief would not come to Ills camp, and the general sent a part of men to Fowltown, the chief's village just above the Georgia border, to bring him. As the soldiers drew near the village, they were fired upon by the Indians. Upon this, the soldiers attacked and destroyed the village. In one of the cabins was found a British uniform of scarlet cloth with gold epaulettes and a paper stating that the chief, Enemathla, was a faithful British subject.

Indian Attacks. Scott Massacre. The Indians retaliated for the destruction of Fowltown by attacking plantations and small settlements of the Americans; then they would escape into Florida. Here they could consider themselves safe, as they were on Spanish land. One of the most shocking massacres was that of Lieutenant Scott and his command. His boat was ascending the Apalachicola with supplies for Fort Scott. In passing a swamp where the Indians were concealed there was a sudden attack, and nearly all on board were killed. This shocked the whole country, and the American people felt that such things must no longer be allowed.

Jackson destroys Indian Towns. As Spain seemed unable to control the Indians, General Jackson was put in command against them, and he was directed to call oil the neighboring States for troops if it should be necessary. General Jackson lost no time in the matter. With one thousand volunteers, most of them from Tennessee, five hundred regulars, and a large force of Creeks, he marched with all speed upon the Miccosukee towns in East Florida

Tell of the destruction of Fowltown. What evidence of British encouragement of the attacks was found? Why were the border plantations in such great daughter What massacre then took place?

and destroyed them, then upon the Fowl towns which he also destroyed. The Fowl towns lay west of the Suwanee. The Tallahassee fields were about the center. At Miccosukee Jackson found three hundred scalps of men, women, and children hung on painted war poles over the village square.

St. Marks and Suwanee Taken. Hearing that there were agents at St. Marks stirring up the Indians against the Americans, Jackson hastened to that fort. It surrendered without any resistance, though it was well garrisoned and had twenty mounted guns. From St. Marks Jackson marched to Suwanee, where he took a number of prisoners. Among the prisoners were two British subjects: Arbuthnot, captured at St. Marks, and Ambrister at Suwanee. Arbuthnot was a Scotch trader, and Ambrister had been a soldier under Nichols. They were accused of having given help and encouragement to the Indians in their attacks oil the frontier, and were sentenced to death. For this Jackson was afterwards much blamed, but he declared that he had done only what was necessary for the protection of the Americans on the frontier.

Marches on Pensacola. Jackson next turned his attention to Pensacola, for he had beard that Indians hostile to the United States received arms and encouragement there, while not even food supplies for the American troops were allowed to pass up the Escambia River. While on his way he received several haughty messages from Masot, the Spanish governor of West Florida, demanding that he should leave. But these messages made no difference to Jackson. He went on to Pensacola, and Masot retired to Fort Barrancas.

Why was Jackson again called to Florida? What troops did he bring? What places did he destroy? What horrible evidence did he find that this punishment was deserved? What forts were taken? Tell of the two prisoners whose execution caused much criticism. What was Jackson's defense?

Pensacola Surrendered Again. Three times Jackson demanded the surrender of the fort, and three times Masot refused it. Then Jackson made the attack. After a few hours of resistance Masot surrendered on condition that his troops should march out with the honors of war and be carried to Havana.

From this time the Americans were in control of all West Florida. Jackson established a provisional government, and then returned to his Tennessee home for a much needed rest. Although the United States government returned West Florida to Spain in September, 1819, a treaty bad already been made for the purchase of all Florida, so it was only a little while longer that the Spanish flag waved over Florida before she ceased to be the colony of a European nation and became a territory of the United States.

Where did Jackson next turn? Why? What was the result? In what shape did he leave affairs in Florida when he returned to his home?


  1. Make a list of all the English attacks on St. Augustine, giving (as far as shown) date, leader, object, and results.
  2. Make a like list of all the attacks of the Florida Spaniards upon the English.
  3. Describe Governor Moore's expedition against middle Florida.
  4. Describe the siege of St. Augustine.
  5. Monteano's invasion of Georgia.
  6. What southern territory was held by each nation at the close of the French and Indian War?
  7. Give all the changes of ownership of Florida, with the occasion, terms, and provision for the residents in each case.
  8. Discuss the history of Florida tinder the British rule, as to civil government, immigration, industry, and relation to the War of Independence.
  9. Give all account of the Turnbull colony.
  10. Tell the occasion, date, and circumstances of the Spanish conquest of West Florida.
  11. Write a sketch of Alexander McGillivray.
  12. Tell of his serving four nations.
  13. Write a sketch of William Augustus Bowles.
  14. What was his plot and what did he do toward its accomplishment?
  15. Give the causes of the dispute, the two boundaries claimed, and the settlement as to the northern boundary of West Florida.
  16. Give the same as to the western boundary of West Florida.
  17. Tell of the Republic of West Florida and what was accomplished by it.
  18. Were the Embargo and Non-Intercourse acts? How did they affect Florida or her ports?
  19. Explain the importance of Florida to the United States.
  20. Give all account of the "Republic of Florida."
  21. Relate the taking of Fernandina.
  22. Describe the Alachua campaign against the Indians.
  23. Tell of Jackson's campaign against the Creeks and its results.
  24. Describe his Pensacola campaign with its causes and results.
  25. Tell of the "Negro Fort," "Fowltown," and Scott massacre.
  26. Describe Jackson's second invasion of Florida.
  27. The Arbuthnot and Ambrister incident.


  1. What charter of South Carolina included St. Augustine? Who granted it? When? To whom? What was the form of government? (Justin Winsor's "Narrative and Critical History of America," Vol. V.)
  2. What war was there between England and Spain at the time of Moore's invasion?
  3. What war at the time of Oglethorpe's siege and Monteano's invasion?
  4. Why was it especially desirable to each nation that England should have possession of Florida and Spain of Havana?
  5. Give all the reasons why Florida prospered more tinder English rule than would have been possible under the Spanish.
  6. Why is indigo no longer cultivated in the State?
  7. Why were people from the countries about the Mediterranean colonized by Dr. Turnbull instead of those from his own country?
  8. The descendants of these people, collectively known as Miuorcans, constitute some of the most influential and prominent families of St. Augustine and other portions of the State. Can you locate ally of them by name or otherwise?
  9. Give as many reasons as you can why the people of Florida did not join with the patriots in the Revolution.
  10. What was the distribution of southern territory after the second transfer of Florida?
  11. Give as many reasons as you can why the second transfer was important both to England and to Spain.
  12. What effect would you expect the transfer to have upon the development of Florida?
  13. Compare the condition and extent of development of the territory after the British withdrawal with that of two hundred years prior.
  14. Read the more extended accounts of the remarkable characters McGillivray and Bowles in the larger works.
  15. What was the strategic importance of Florida in the War of 1812?
  16. Read the history of Tecumseh and his famous plot, and of Jackson's campaign against the Creeks.
  17. Upon what grounds was Jackson justified in invading Florida and taking Pensacola?
  18. Give the particulars of the battle of New Orleans.

Excerpt from Part One, Chapter 14, "Jackson in Florida" A History of Florida. Next Section; Table of Contents


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