Thomas Sidney Jesup Diary

Collection Description

Jesup, Thomas Sidney, 1788-1860

Series Number:

M86- 12


Jesup, Thomas Sidney, 1788-1860


Diary, 1836-1837.


1 v.
1.00 microfilm reel 35 mm.
1 DVDs




General Thomas Sidney Jesup (1788-1860) was the third general to command Florida troops during the Second Seminole War.  Jesup, a career military man, served 18 years as Quartermaster General before President Andrew Jackson called him to active duty during the Indian Wars.

He was assigned to go to Alabama, where he led a successful campaign to capture and remove hostile Creek Indians from the frontier.  In Florida during this time, Governor-General Richard K. Call was having difficulties organizing and launching a campaign against the Seminole Indians. President Jackson directed Jesup to proceed to Florida upon completion of his business in Alabama and take command "unless General Call is in the field."  When Jesup arrived in Florida in September of 1836, Call had finalized arrangements for a campaign against the Seminoles.  Not willing to usurp Call's position, Jesup declined command but volunteered to serve under him.  In December, however, the command was officially transferred to Jesup, and Governor Call returned to the duties of his office.

In a directive from General Benjamin Butler, then Secretary of War, Jesup was ordered to attack hostile Indians in their stronghold on the banks of the Withlacoochee and drive them from established posts at or near the mouth of the Withlacoochee, at Fort King, and at Volusia.  Ultimately, he was to see to the "subrogation and removal" of the Indians.  This "removal" referred to the migration of Indians to reservations west of the Mississippi River.


The collection consists of the campaign diary of General Jesup while commanding his first campaign of the Second Seminole War from October 1, 1836 to May 30, 1837. The diary details the routine of a commander issuing orders, requisitioning supplies, and directing troop movement. It also documents the relationship between the regular army and the state militia and communications with the Seminole Indians. The diary also reflects the hardships and problems encountered by Jesup and his men in locating the elusive Seminoles in the extensive Florida wilderness.

General Note:

Original previously State Library of Florida Manuscripts Collection MS79.

Subject Access Fields:

Military administration.
Seminole War, 2nd, 1835-1842.
Withlacoochee (Fla.), Battle of, 1835.
Seminole Indians Wars
Diaries. aat
Tampa Bay (Fla.)
Volusia (Fla.)

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