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tv   Lectures in History  CSPAN  August 31, 2016 2:00pm-2:54pm EDT

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early 19th century in the southeastern part of the u.s. and spanish controlled florida. the war was fought in part to prevent slaves from fleeing into florida. florida state university is in tallahassee. the class is about 50 minutes. >> if we think back where we were last week, and the week before, the seminoles are forming in georgia. we have all this large context. we've talked about coal essence, civilization, migration, all of these different themes. we've even talked about this idea whether we thought the seminoles existed as a people and we talked about the red stick war. this is kind of these culminating trends that we're trying to work up to and today we'll look at what is often seen as the start of an american awareness that the seminoles exist and it gets a name called the first seminole war.
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what i'd like to do today is challenge a little bit what we normally think about the first seminole war. up here i put up in simple terms how other people have described it. first seminole war really quickly makes me think of first seminole war, we can think of first world war. we never called this a first world war or world war i until we had a second one. right? the great war. and then world war ii. the first seminole war wasn't called the first seminole war. it wasn't called the seminole war. it was called the florida war. right at the end of the florida war for lack of a better word, the territorial florida or the spanish colony of florida, largely becomes a territory of the united states. it gets the treaty and goes through in 1821. that process takes place and florida becomes part of the united states.
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so as it's taking place, everyone knows indians are involved but no one is thinking of this as the first of a series of three seminole wars. just a war that happens to take place in this territory called florida. it is the florida war and dealt with lots of things. it is an undeclared war. so congress never officially declares war although they send militia and soldiers and troops, the army and navy into florida. they authorize the behavior but it is an undeclared war. because it is undeclared we don't know when it really starts and it's really hard to figure out when it ends. it depends how you measure. this is kind of the same ideas as before hand. when do the seminoles start? when they don't have a declaration of independence we have to try to figure it out through the context rather than just assign it a date. because we now call it the first seminole war scholars who have looked at it have read backwards and we have a tremendous amount of evidence which we'll talk
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about on thursday next week about the second seminole war and we can try to, like look at those reasons why the war exists and read backwards and say if there is a second seminole war it must be because the causes of the first were never fully addressed and the causes include what, about stopping seminoles from crossing a border and stealing slaves, stop cattle raids, stop white settlers from crossing into florida and capturing their slaves. to stop run away indians from avoiding the kind of the law. to stop all kind of border trespasses between the two. it becomes the conflict between spain and the united states or the united states and seminoles. this makes sense. the seminole war and who the seminoles are fighting, just blurt it out. stand up. come to the mike. who are the seminoles going to fight if it's a seminole war? is it obvious?
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who are the seminoles going to fight? all right. someone can say the u.s. right? that seems to be straight forward. indeed, the great hero of the seminole war from the united states' point of view is andrew jackson. we have a problem with this. somehow context is missing. when we look at the record of the first seminole war we see very little written about seminoles themselves. we hear a lot of things we've heard before in this class. we've heard lots about red sticks, lots about creeks. we hear william mcintosh's name over and over and over. we hear benjamin hawkins. we hear andrew jackson. for some reason we don't hear seminole very often. instead we get phrases like this. chief mcintosh and his brigade. brigade.
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not his unit or his band, brigade. implying size. hundreds of creek warriors engaging in the war. 1600 of mcintosh's warriors. think about this in terms of size as we look at the historical record, as we look at the documents we can clearly see that the united states is concerned not about seminoles but they're preoccupied with the presence of the creek warriors but they're not preoccupied in a negative way. they're appraising mcintosh. once again, once upon a time four years before this mcintosh is the friend of hawkins. mcintosh is the leader of the creek soldiers against the red sticks. now here we are in the first seminole war. now this seems to be the a case. we look at the military records of the united states and they like most militaries keep remarkably good records of the behavior that they do and we read their behavior and this is
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what they say. creek warriors were almost always the scouts. sow that they were intuitively able to figure out where they were supposed to go maybe because they had been there before hand or maybe just because the ideas about indians as being one with nature allowed them to kind of merge into florida in some fashion and find their way but the creeks were always the ones determining who to attack first. in one colonel's words the fighting was done before we arrived. these phrases appear over and over and over. here is another one by a lieutenant colonel, nearly all the fighting in the first seminole war was done by general mcintosh's command. now here is a peculiar take. the first seminole war, which we imagined being about the united states versus the seminoles now feels like the creek indians versus someone or the creek indians and their american allies rather than the americans
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and their creek allies, again, someone. it is that someone we're going to spend a little time talking about. let's use the context we've had so far in this class. first, we have about 1100 u.s. soldiers engaged in the war. it is not that the united states wasn't involved but in the course of the two plus years 1100 soldiers served in florida some for a few weeks some for the entirety of the two years. 7,000 part-time volunteers or militia claimed duty. some served just long enough to capture a slave that had run away a week or two. some much longer than that. the forces were split. most of the militia came without guns or not enough ammunition so they weren't very useful and the command in florida complained that the militia was of no use. they thought of the 1100 as being really worth while but the
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militia if anything net zero. some were good. some were bad. if they're bad they worked against you rather than for you. we know that the creeks were used to track down the enemy at almost every campaign. indian informants had jackson's ear and mcintosh had jackson's ear. during this campaign mcintosh goes from chief and they called him major general or general. he even got a pension but got paid by the united states for his action. he never becomes formal u.s. military but they pay him kind of almost as if he was. what i'd like for us to imagine is if we had a red stick war, a bloody civil war that rages from 1813 to 1814, and there is a war only a couple years later and the people on both sides of the campaign are exactly the same, we shouldn't be thinking about this as a first seminole war but probably thinking about this as a second red stick war.
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now let's back up and place this into context. right? once upon a time we had a world of autonomous villages, multi cultural, multi lingual, deer hunting, corn growing, clan oriented society. and then in came the market place. in came benjamin hawkins. in came a new set of leaders, led by the early 19th century by mcintosh. we now have cotton fields, cotton looms, fences, blocks, private property, centralized police forces, democratic centralized policies, elections, chiefs that pretend to, what, represent large amounts of land or large amounts of villages. these brand new, powerful leaders, who are getting their power from hawkins and the market place and the protection that hawkins can provide rather than what was before hand.
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some individuals, lots of creeks realized this means a loss of sovereignty and they fight a war over this. this is everything we talk about for what, two weeks wrapped up in one very nice sentence. creeks imagined the war or excuse me the world kind of branching at the two directions. they see the direction it is going. they are losing sovereignty and they decide they want to regain their control over their lives and they fight a war. first they have this internal struggle and destroy property amongst them, have to reorder their world around them. they ignore mcintosh and his treaties. but the united states relies on them anyway. they try to reregulate their societies. all this gets ignored. i put a quote on the board. in 1811 one trader says, our property is beginning to be sacrificed without getting satisfaction. this is that phrase getting satisfaction we talked about last week. what does getting satisfaction mean? what's that?
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getting satisfaction is better than getting what you want. when someone kills your cow, what do you want for satisfaction? an eye for an eye. that's good. or even better, someone commits what is called a wrong. they call upon hawkins to make satisfaction. hawkins calls mcintosh or calls upon him, sends word, gets satisfaction. mcintosh contacts a lesser chief or a more local person who didn't get satisfaction and all of a sudden that person is arrested or killed and his hand is produced or his ear is produced. in 1811, whether it's a cow, an eye for an eye, or whether it's the hand, real retribution, by
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1811, those folks, those traders who expected this world to work a particular way, this new world of centralized police -- a world that wasn't working, then things really break down. prior to this, prior to the war that we know is all coming, lots of creeks from georgia, migrate into florida. they've been migrating to florida for a very long time and they've been migrating from florida into georgia for a very long time. so as all this motion is taking place, as all of this is happening, natives move into florida, africans take flight from their masters and move into florida. africans who are living amongst the creeks move into florida knowing full well that this new world of a market oriented marketplace doesn't have a place for a free african-american in it and they move into florida and they move into old villages. they create new villages. they integrate into new villages.
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they start forming communities that become known as seminoles. they don't like this new national council. they resent mcintosh and the new power that he has. this slowly becomes the world that we can imagine a second war having to fight. if the red stick war takes place almost entirely within georgia and alabama, and the civil war doesn't bleed into spanish florida, i hope we can imagine that there is some sort of, what, unresolved issue. that is a nice euphemism to figure out what's going on in florida. so then we get this, the red stick war. i hope this is all -- this is kind of a rehash for you so when we have our exam in a couple days this should feel right for you. the red stick war in sum is about rejecting a few things and embracing others. they reject chiefs who acquiesce. they reject national council and the centralized power it represents. think about what all these
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things mean. they reject the hidden costs of civilization, the strings of owning a cow. right? it's not that they hate the cows, themselves. it is not even that they hate cotton or the spinning wheels. it's the hidden costs that if you have particular forms of property, you rely on the market place to protect them. if you're relying on the market place to protect them you've often reliant on mcintosh or hawkins or some for the of power that is not indigenous to your community. so the flip is the red stick war is about asserting sovereignty and control. clan power. law menders don't make power. clan elders make decisions or resolve disputes. so assert control over their lives. this largely becomes what the red stick war is about. we talked about those details last week and once again it was mcintosh and jackson and they
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emerge from the war as victors. they emerge as friends. right? we talked about this last week. we didn't talk about while jackson emerges victorious he invites mcintosh to his house and has him play with lincoya. introduces the two of them. if jackson is going to convert this young indian boy on how to become a good southern slave holder there is an adult in indian society that could do the same thing for him. here is a role model for you. and so jackson invites mcintosh to his home as kind of his guest and they emerge as these kind of comrade in arms. one does the dirty work of the other. so now here we have a peculiar situation. at the end of the red stick war
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the united states with its military took a civil war with the majority on one side and the majority on the other and the united states sided with the smaller group. the united states sided with the group that was likely otherwise going to win the war and shift the balance in such a way that the red sticks lose. hawkins comes out of the war with, well he dies shortly after because he gets sick but hawkins in that world emerges powerful and mcintosh emerges with his ability to consolidate power. he starts arresting red sticks, sending warriors out to find people with presumed wrongs. he creates a formalized police force. called it the law menders. writes law down on paper. to protect property.
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with very strict formal forms of retribution or punishment. that would be the western way of saying it. mcintosh receives the annuities, the annual payments that creeks receive for all the land they had traded away over the last 30 years. and he distributed to those who were loyal to him. i don't want to guess what happened to those who were not loyal. go ahead. >> they were killed? >> they were killed or -- oh, don't get down. if you're not loyal, what happens to you? if you are chief and you have a $100,000 in your pocket and you have to distribute it to all the people who are loyal to you, those who are not loyal get how much? nothing. in a world where you need cash or a world where we're talking about the lack of food and the hunger that was rampant in the 1800s, this distinction was
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remarkably powerful. so if you are -- if you are someone who is uneasy about mcintosh but dependent on the marketplace, i hope you can imagine why you keep your mouth shut. right? that's part of what this is about. in essence, mcintosh continues this civilized plan, or the plan of civilization that we had heard so much about beforehand, and he does it with formal pressure, bribes, and informal pressure. so just because you don't have thousands of people lining up to kill him doesn't mean that they don't necessarily wish to, or doesn't necessarily mean that they loved him, but there's a social, and a physical, and economic and cultural, all of the costs you can imagine with opposing someone who is that powerful. he starts sweeping his way. and those who didn't like this came to florida. they went to the cane breaks in
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lower alabama. one scholar has called them killing fields, kind of out of the gaze of white sources, of literate sources. hundreds of creeks died in lower alabama. so in this world, mcintosh takes satisfaction himself. all these new things, all these new codes, all these new law amenders allow for a centralized council in georgia and really in alabama to become remarkably strong. and villages had choices. either play as part of this game, or risk what it meant not to play. in a very short period of time, most villages outside of florida started participating in this new reality.
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right? so mcintosh emerges not just as chief, but as general. one thing to think about to our best ability, we think more people who are creeks, red sticks, surrendered to jackson rather than mcintosh. and their reason? they thought they could actually get humanity from jackson rather than mcintosh. think about that in terms of our image of the week. know jackson to be. mcintosh was presumed to be the same thing but just a hair more brutal. so this is an odd situation to be in. now, in this context, 3,000 or thereabouts, this is one estimate. there are some that are a little lower and there are some that are a little bit higher. but about 3,000 red sticks come to florida during and after the
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red stick war. this is a picture of hillis harjo, josiah francis. now, for most of his life, josiah francis went by the name josiah francis. it's a good name to use if your father is an englishman and you're making your way as an english trader. it's not a very good name if you're going to be a nativist prophet. if you're going to be a red stick prophet. and all of a sudden it was hillis harjo, one of the many prophets who leave red stick, georgia, alabama, and head south into florida. abiaka, sam jones, probably the most important seminole in the 19th century. he's kind of the spiritual leader for the first seminole war, the second seminole war, kind of the long 19th century, if you will, a really long time. another is peter mcqueen. happens to be the grandfather we believe of osceola. these branch lines come into florida at this point. but 3,000 red sticks. to put that into context, that makes the population of florida indians somewhere around 5,500.
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a huge influx of newcomers. and these newcomers are rejecting new creek norms. they're not trying to become something new. they're trying to remain something that they imagined being remarkably old. normal. but they see the world changing around them, and they think to keep the world that they had not too long ago or to keep the world they have at that moment if they move into florida they can remain the same. they can keep their village autonomy. they can keep their clan leadership. they can keep their matrilineal descent. they can keep all these things they believe to be at the core of what makes them who they are. they can add cows to that if they want but they don't have to restructure their entire society to do so. and so they move into florida.
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they join new villages. sometimes entire villages move at once and just re-establish themselves. and sometimes they just integrate into old villages. right? so they're -- they're not quite seminole yet. they're just migrants. now, as they move into florida, no one on that border is particularly happy. the red sticks in florida are still pretty irritated that they've been chased out, that the united states entered the war in the first place, that folks like mcintosh were, what, exceeding their right as leaders. the endemic problems of livestock and slaves and other forms of property and humanity, well, continue to cross that imaginary line between georgia and florida, or alabama and florida, and so problems kept occurring. hostilities or deprivations.
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everyone has their own phrase for it. creeks complained about it. seminoles complained about it. spaniards complained about it and the united states complained about it. and so as soon as the war ends in 1814, fighting continues along this border. so the u.s. military kind of goes home. nothing to see here. right? the red stick war is officially over. the treaty that ceded georgia and the treaty for jackson is signed and sealed and delivered. and now all of a sudden, the fighting continues but the united states isn't very concerned because it's happening kind of in north florida, spanish florida. the ambition of land had already been achieved. so we're okay for now. so into florida comes all these red sticks and hundreds, if not thousands, of african-american slaves. if you can imagine during the red stick war and the tumult of war, if you're a slave living somewhere along that frontier, it's dangerous. but your ability to find freedom
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in that chaos is slightly better than freedom outside of that chaos. and so they often joined up with indians, or they made their way behind enemy line, and they found their way into florida, and set up in what we call marooned communities, independent, separate, african-american-free communities and sometimes they joined seminole or creek or indian communities in florida. now, how do you suppose the governor of georgia, or alabama, or mississippi, or south carolina, or any of the voters in those states felt about the large influx of african-americans heading into florida? come on. someone's got to stand up and come to the camera. >> because the slaves are supposed to be domesticated, but they're actually freed in florida. >> domesticated. good choice of words. all right. they're supposed to be like corn. supposed to stand, do their job, wait to be harvested. wait to do the harvesting. but they're supposed to be protected. right? so here we now have a pretty serious situation. right?
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slave holders see valuable property running across this imaginary line leaving british georgia entering spanish florida. how do you deal with this? because in the past, if they left georgia and they entered creek society, if we had a phone call it would have been a phone call. instead it had to be a letter. they would send a letter, dear benjamin hawkins. right? your most humble servant. yada, yada, yada. in the end, they would say this is a description of the slave. this is who we think he went to. this is the name he answers to. he came to your community. please see that he be returned. then hawkins would read the letter, figure out if he can resolve the issue. if he couldn't he would contact one of his chiefs.
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let's call him mcintosh, because it fits. mcintosh would then find the slave, bring him back, ship him off, get rewarded for it, and everything worked out fine. in a world where it's british georgia and spanish florida it's not so easy. spanish florida kind of liked the idea, that it was pretty weak, but in one way it can kind of thumb its nose at the united states repeatedly. and there's long correspondence going back and forth between the in the colonial period, in british georgia, and then later u.s. georgia and then their spanish friends are not so much friends to the south. and the letters go something like this -- we know a group of slaves ran away to your area. if you please see them returned. we don't see them here. or they're free. they're spanish. they converted. they're catholic. who are we to return someone to make them free or slaves? or they would haggle over how much the reward should be. and the only times we see really significant action on the spanish side is when the spanish see their slaves run north and they offer what we would say would be the equivalent of like prisoner exchanges or slave exchanges.
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for the most part spanish florida as an institution was silent in all of this. and so now we have slave captures, not quite the right word, but planters or posses hired by planters crossing that border entering spanish florida creating all sorts of a mess. now, it gets worse. in apalachicola, if you ever want to go to apalachicola they have a pretty good museum there. go there and get yourself extra credit. but 300 african-americans, maybe more, but the best estimates are 300 and maybe a little bit more, but gathered at prospect bluff.
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at prospect bluff during the war of 1812, great britain built a fort. they built it with indian help and the idea was we could put a fort here, we can put indians in it, or whoever else wants to man this fort, and they can protect this region for us. now, as great britain abandons the fort at the end of the war of 1812, african-americans fill the fort. as this is happening, these soldiers who are abandoning the fort realize it's a really fortuitous thing. they're remarkably pleased by this. they leave their cannon, the big old cannonballs, the powder, and all their ammunition behind. so now in apalachicola -- has anyone ever been to apalachicola? if you haven't, you need to go. best oysters. if not for history, go for oysters. in apalachicola, there is this fort, or just right outside apalachicola, there's this fort that somehow has a relationship with the indians because they
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helped build it and it's kind of on their land and it's kind of near there, and there's rumors the indians are hanging out around there and then 300 former slaves who are armed. who don't like the united states very much. now, can we imagine why the united states is pretty concerned about what's going on in florida? now, this is a nice little map, fort dobson from the united states. this is where the fort is. these are from two newspapers. first one, florida indians helped build and there are rumors of a great number of indians and negros well supplied with everything necessary for war. rumors of indians and africans being allied against one another. but i'm not sure if there's a greater fear in early america than that. in the 1950s it was the fear of communists invading. in the 1750s and 1850s or at least 1830s, the fear was what
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would happen if africans who are 33% or so of the american south, allied themselves with native americans, and together more or less outnumbered free, white society and overran everything? and so for a long time they would use, what, indians as slave catchers in order to kind of -- and vice versa. they'd use indians -- or africans in indian wars and try to create artificial divisions between these two communities. divide and conquer. so this fear of an indian and african alliance was, i don't know, as horrible as one can imagine.
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general gaines said this. it's not just indians and africans. it's negros and outlaws. now, seminoles were outlaws. they were presumed red sticks, were presumed outlaws. but the imagery i hope is clear. this is an issue that needs to be dealt with. right? actually really quickly -- this rumor of a great number of indians, anyone want to take a guess what state this newspaper came from? i chose this one intentionally because it's not a state you would normally imagine. it's from vermont. a vermont newspaper is publishing concerns about apalachicola and what's happening there. this is not some local event. this is as large a concern as the united states had at that moment in terms of its security. they thought this could be like that tipping point. when the american revolution ended, no one thought, well, the united states is going to be here forever. it's this noble experiment. then we had some rebellions and they had to scrap the articles of confederation, replace it with a constitution and then we had the second american revolution, the war of 1812. great britain goes home. no one thinks it's over.
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security is a very modern, fleeting thing. and so finally we have the united states eyeing what they call the negro fort, the great phrase they came up with to describe this one site. it is often seen as either the precursor to the seminole war or first firing of the seminole war which is why we can't figure out when it starts because we don't know if this is before it, in the middle of it, or at the start of it. now, the story goes pretty simple. mcintosh, what, we keep hearing his name -- 196 warriors, move into florida. they figure out where it is and they realize that they need u.s. navy to help take the place. the navy comes in and they use what they call hot shots.
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it's where you shoot the cannon, but the cannonball is on fire when it goes. normally cannonballs at this time, you'd hit it up against the wall, or whatever it is, and you're trying to destroy kind of fortifications. this, the desire was you shoot the cannonball in, and it's on fire and hopefully hits something that can actually do some damage. i believe it was the ninth shot but one of the very early shots of hot shots hit the actual what, the powder keg. the room holding all the powder for the fort and, boom. the fort's gone. so it was a dramatic but anti-climactic end to the negro fort. now, we don't know how many people died. at the time they thought all but 40 died. recent scholars said pretty good evidence that most of the slaves that were there realized what was happening, realized they couldn't hold the fort for very long and they fled. but in any case, as a -- the united states believed that they had ended this immediate cause of concern, that there was a
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secure place where africans could kind of hide out, secure their freedom, really close to the border of the united states, and it was kind of over. so this negro fort becomes kind of this early rallying cry for the united states to see florida as a threat. but when it gets blown up, the united states kind of goes back and goes back to its thing, and concern for african-americans kind of dissipates. now, as this takes place, the consolidation of the creek national council and mcintosh continues. now, this is a picture of naimatha. we've seen him before, too, but not for a while. he lives in georgia in a town called fowl town i believe right off the flint river. now, naimatha, i think it's fair to say, is neither red stick nor
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non-red stick. he would say he's just creek. and as creek, he is responsible and as a creek chief, he said he is responsible for all that happened inside his village. and as he saw the united states going and assaulting the negro fort, and on their way home the troops, soldiers attacked some of naimatha's warriors, he made a rather bold claim. if ever an attachment of u.s. troops crossed the flint river he would resist them by force. in other words, my village in georgia is autonomous. now, the treaty of fort jackson said that that village wasn't his anymore. the treaty of fort jackson said all of the creeks had to leave georgia and here's naimatha living in georgia with his village refusing to leave. and he in a very succinct, nice, bold way said, well, i didn't
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sign the treaty. mcintosh doesn't represent me. the national council is not the voice of my village. my village is my village. and the united states never, not willing to give up on the challenge said, well, if you resist them by force, the united states sends -- and once again they sent in a group to destroy it. it's mcintosh. why do we keep hearing this name? mcintosh with 160, barely 160 warriors and barely 100 soldiers invade fowltown in georgia and they destroy it. now, the history of the u.s. military in the united states in the indian wars is filled with stories of 12 american soldiers and 1,500 indians, and it's called the american war against so-and-so. i exaggerate those numbers. but think about this context.
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we're often dismissing the presence of the backup, the pawns, the 160, because we don't presume them to have motive. they're just doing it because mcintosh said so, and mcintosh did it because jackson said so. but here i'm trying to spin for you this idea that the creeks had motives for what they were doing. and maybe the creeks and the united states have the same motives. mcintosh and jackson had the same ambition. or maybe they were using each other. i tend to think that mcintosh was juicing jackson every bit as much if not more. so now with fowl town destroyed, the negro fort destroyed, jackson has the u.s. army swoop into florida and start razing indian villages. red stick villages and maroon villages in the panhandle. and they come in on the west and they kind of go all the way through into what they call
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middle florida kind of near where we are today. and they come in and they are remarkably efficient and brutal. they destroy villages. they capture slaves. they called it redeem slaves. the idea was you capture the slaves and you redeem them. return them back to their original owner. if they don't have original owner, you give them as booty, if you will, to soldiers, and cattle they did the same thing. the united states did something really interesting and prohibited white soldiers from taking property as they marched. they couldn't keep it themselves, so white soldiers were prohibits from going through northern florida and taking a cow and claiming it as their own, but they were mandated when they took property to turn it over to, fill in the blank, the person who got to keep it was -- i'll give you a hint. his name was chief william mcintosh. thank you. so mcintosh out of all this comes home with a rather sizable amount of head of cattle that he distributes once again.
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as the united states is coming into florida the red stick war feels remarkably alive. the united states tracks down red stick leaders and has them executed. they track down two british traders. and in our booth, this is the one thing that gets jackson into trouble is that he hangs them without a formal court-martial. and because they were british, they were entitled to that and he actually gets questioned in congress over this. but his actions toward the indian leaders, that was all well and good. that's what, you treat savage nations like savages, but civilized nations like great britain, you have to treat them in a particular way. so he's trying to track down all these red sticks, all of these runaway slaves, and the property that the red sticks absconded with out of the creek nation. and all along the way it's not jackson leading the way. remember where we started.
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the fighting was done before we arrived. it was mcintosh or mcintosh's inferiors, his followers or other indian leaders finding the villages, razing the villages, finding the red sticks who were, what? hostile to the creek national council. this is nation building in the most aggressive way we can imagine. and so this war ends, and i'm not going to say it was the number of seminoles who died, because we don't know, but we know hundreds of red sticks died. you can replace red sticks with seminoles. now it's just about what word we want to use. the united states and the creeks imagine themselves not killing seminoles meaning those who have been there for a long time but newcomers. because that's who they blame for all the problems. so now here we have it.
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this is the peculiar part of all this. at the end of the war, at the end of the first seminole war, creeks with jackson attacks and destroys dozens of villages. almost all within the panhandle. one in georgia. a negro fort and then a smattering of villages as you marched your way east from pensacola. captured red sticks are taken north and then sometimes even west straight to indian territory where reservations were being formed but often they were brought to alabama. slaves are returned back to the creek agency where their original owners tried to be determined or they're sometimes resold or sometimes given to the creeks to basically distribute as they see fit. we're talking 400 african-americans return. right? this is not a -- this is not a small operation.
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that means we have trails of african-american men, women, and probably children in chains or at least in guard being marched north out of florida into alabama and probably georgia on the way. kind of taking that loop. being returned back into slavery and rumors occurring that some of these africans were not even enslaved as children. or rather these were free blacks born free in florida being enslaved for the first time. this will be an echo that we'll hear more about when we get to the second seminole war. we have hundreds of seminoles or red sticks killed. and the surviving indians in florida whether they be red stick, whether they be miccosukee, regardless of where they came from in their past, they leave the peninsula of florida. they leave greater tallahassee to pensacola and they move sometimes to the east toward jacksonville but more likely farther south toward tampa bay, and even as far south as lake okeechobee. right? so north florida becomes not
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empty but emptied of indians. and now the last part is the 1,500 or more head of cattle that's exported or confiscated. pick your verb. and taken out of florida. now, 1,500 head of cattle doesn't sound like a tremendous amount, or it sounds like a huge amount. i guess it doesn't really matter what it feels like, but at the time, 1500 head of cattle was an immense investment. and it was all distributed by william mcintosh and it allowed mcintosh to kind of secure his base of power within this newly formed centralized creek nation. so now at the end of this war, who's there to oppose the centralized creek nation? right. this is the moment that we realize that nations sometimes form organically and sometimes
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they form organically with some assistance and sometimes someone has a fist and squeezes it really, really tight. because at the end of the story, we have a creek nation in georgia, alabama, increasingly moving their way out of georgia. they've relinquish almost all of their land moving into alabama, with a centralized democratic literate representative government whose leader controlled access to law. the police force, and voices of dissent could be heard if they're willing to risk it. and so for a decade, out of this, mcintosh is able to
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minimize voices of resistance until '26. that's almost a decade. he does his very best to try to hold on as long as he can. and along the way, mcintosh makes lots of friends, people who give you gifts. you often look up to and say, wow. thank you very much for the gift. i feel like a friend of yours. once again the hidden costs of those gifts eventually result, when we talk about before his execution. so now here are the question for you -- i started by saying i think the first seminole war is a misnomer. up to this point in the class we've talked about how there may be people who live in florida who aren't quite creek anymore. they're not part of that world. culturally they may be creek but politically they're certainly not. but there is nothing that makes them seminole, per se. they're florida creeks. so seminole, itself, is problematic.
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but if we call it the first seminole war, it means that it's the starting thing. it's the starting point that pushes us forward into the second seminole war. what i'd like for us to imagine is the first seminole war was about one thing and really one thing only. now, the one thing can have multiple parts, so bear me out. if the red stick war or the original red stick war was fought over the creek national council trying to consolidate its power, and at the end of the war african-americans came to florida because they didn't have a place that they liked in that new world, and red sticks came to florida because they didn't have a place in that world they particularly liked, and the united states and the creek national council saw both of those things as a threat to their future, the first seminole war is the natural conclusion of the red stick war, not the start of something else. so at the end of the first seminole war, some things are actually resolved.
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red sticks are no longer a problem in the way that it was beforehand. they may and i think there is a pretty good argument to be made. a lot of those red sticks become leaders of anti-american thought in the 1830s and 1840s and beyond. african-americans continue to be a thorn in the side of the united states because they continue to come into florida and they find alliances and friendship and other relationships with seminoles in florida. that continues. but as a threat to the national council, as a threat to the livelihood of mcintosh and the world that he represents, that's gone. right? now they control new land. and when that new land becomes a desire of the united states, that's something else. but the first seminole war wasn't about land. it was about securing those things that were won in the first war but not really secure. all right.
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so at the end of this, the very, very end of the red stick war, we get the first seminole war. at the end of the first seminole war, we have a spanish government in st. augustine and pensacola, two spanish governments, who kind of look out around the world around them and realize that they don't have the means to control the land that they claim, and i hope we can imagine at that point why florida becomes basically traded to the united states, or sold to the united states. right? this is that moment when in our history books we teach florida from 1821 to the present. that's when it becomes a u.s. territory. so that part of the equation kind of disappears. so even in that language, the first seminole war is an end point. it ends the presence of the spanish. it ends the presence of kind of all the forms of hostility that
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threatens this new creek nation. and at the end, the creek nation is the creek nation, and when they move to oklahoma or get moved to oklahoma, the -- well, william mcintosh is killed, but his sons, they become leaders his sons, they become leaders out west, or at least contested leaders out west. all right, are there any questions? i think we will do q&a about our exam if that's okay. american history tv airs on c-span3 every weekend. telling the american story through events, interviews, and visits to historic locations. this month, "american history tv" is in primetime to introduce you to programs you could see every weekend on c-span3. our features include lectures in history, visits to college classrooms across the country to hear lectures by top history professors. american artifacts takes a look at the treasures at u.s. historic sites, museums and archives.
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reel america, revealing the 20th century through archival films and news reels. the civil war where you hear about the people who shaped the civil war and reconstruction. and the presidency focuses on u.s. presidents and first ladies to learn about their politics, policies and legacies. all this month in primetime and every weekend on "american history tv" on c-span3. this week during american history tv in primetime, we feature our lectures in history series taking you into college classrooms across the country. each night, we debut a new lecture and tonight it's native americans. at 8:00 eastern, we'll take you to dartmouth college for an overview of american-indian history, and at 9:20, the colonial west in the 1700s from a class at the college of william and mary. that will be followed at 10:30 eastern with a florida state lecture on the creek indians and the first seminole war. that's tonight on american history tv primetime.
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with the house and senate returning from their summer break next week, on thursday at 8:00 p.m. eastern, we'll preview four key issues facing congress this fall. federal funding to combat the zika virus. >> women in america today want to make sure that they have the ability to not get pregnant. why? because mosquitoes ravage pregnant women. >> but today, they turn down the very money that they have argued for last may. and they decided to gamble with the lives of children like this. >> the annual defense policy and programs bill. >> all of these votes are very vital to the future of this nation in a time of turmoil and a time of the greatest number of refugees since the end of world war ii. >> gun violence legislation and criminal justice reform. >> every member of this body, every republican and every
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democrat, wants to see less gun violence. >> we must continue to work the work of nonviolence and demand an end to senseless killing everywhere. >> and the resolution for congress to impeach irs commissioner john koskinen. >> house resolution 828, impeaching john koskinen, commissioner of the internal revenue service for high crimes and misdemeanors. >> we'll review the expected debate with susan, senior correspondent for the washington examiner. join us thursday night at 8:00 eastern for congress this fall. >> dartmouth college professor colin calloway leads a seminar for high school teachers on native american history. he talks about how tribes operated as separate nations both in their interactions with each other and with european nations.


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