The Seminole Wars

The U.S. Army fought a series of wars against the Seminoles. Conflict increased near the Georgia-Florida border in 1816 and 1817 and Secretary of War John C. Calhoun ordered General Andrew Jackson to invade Spanish Florida and pursue the Seminoles. This became known as the First Seminole War. In 1830, Congress passed the Indian Removal Act. The treaty for Seminole removal was known as the Treaty of Payne’s Landing. The Second Seminole War was the longest and costliest Indian war in United States history. A third conflict broke out in 1855. By 1858, the Seminole population in Florida was less than 200.

Portrait of Chief Osceola

Portrait of Chief Osceola

Florida Memory

State Library of Florida

Additional Resources

Published Primrary Sources

  • American State Papers, Library of Congress
  • Carter, Clarence Edwin. The Territory of Florida. U.S. Government Printing Office, 1956. Reprint of the Territorial Papers of the United States series; volumes 22-26 cover the Florida territory.

Key Secondary Sources

  • Covington, James. The Seminoles of Florida. Gainesville, FL: University of Florida Press, 1993.
  • Knetsch, Joe. Florida’s Seminole Wars, 1817-1858.  Mount Pleasant, SC: Arcadia Publishing Company, 2003.
  • Mahon, John. History of the Second Seminole War, 1835-1842. Gainesville, FL: University Press of Florida, 1991.
  • Sprague, J.T. (John Titcomb). The Origin, Progress, and Conclusion of the Florida War. Gainesville, FL: University of Florida Press, 1964.