Rebellion March 1838     
spacerHomespacer spacerOverviewspacer spacerTrail Narrativespacer spacerHighlightsspacer spacerMapsspacer spacerResourcesspacer spacerImagesspacer spacer
General Thomas Sydney Jesup
General Thomas Sydney Jesup, U.S. Army portrait. Date and artist unknown. Florida Photographic Collection.
Previous slide Next slide
Jesup's Proclamation

A southern-born defender of states' rights, Jesup was no friend to abolitionists. He did not offer freedom on any idealistic grounds. Rather, by his own explanation he made the offer for pragmatic purposes. "It is highly important to the slave-holding States," wrote Jesup, "that these Negroes be sent out of the country." In Jesup's opinion, the Black Seminoles were so rebellious, they had to be shipped west. His officers shared the feeling. Sprague, the veteran and first historian of the war, relayed the general attitude:

"The negroes ... have, for their numbers, been the most formidable foe, more bloodthirsty, active, and revengeful, than the Indians .... The negro, returned to his original owner, might have remained a few days, when he again would have fled to the swamps, more vindictive than ever.... Ten resolute negroes, with a knowledge of the country, are sufficient to desolate the frontier, from one extent to the other."

Previous slidespacerspacer

Sources: Mahon 202, ASPMA 7: 882, Kieffer 182-3, Sprague Origin 309.
Part 2, War: Outline  l  Images
spacer spacer
 Trail Narrative
 + Prologue
 + Background: 1693-1812
 + Early Years: 1812-1832
 - War: 1832-1838
+ Prelude to War
+ Revenge
+ Deceit
+ Liberty or Death
spacer spacer Captivity
Noble Savages
Liberty or Death
Osceola's Death
Star of the Nation
Jesup's Proclamation
The Decision
 + Exile: 1838-1850
 + Freedom: 1850-1882
 + Legacy & Conclusion