To destroy the fort, Jackson dispatched General Gaines. The 39-year-old
career officer was already famous for his service in the War of 1812 and the
arrest in 1807 of Aaron Burr. His leadership of the Negro Fort attack was the
first of many intersections with the Black Seminoles. Jackson’s orders to Gaines
made it clear: this was a mission to return stolen property. Jackson was sending
the army on a slave-catching expedition, without regard to national consensus or
"I have little doubt of the fact, that this fort has been established by some villains for rapine and plunder, and that it ought to be blown up, regardless of the land on which it stands; and if your mind shall have formed the same conclusion, destroy it and return the stolen Negroes and property to their rightful owners."
Jackson 2: 249.
Part 1, Early Years: l