First Escalation (1817-1818)

General Andrew Jackson was assigned the role of suppressing Indian hostilities and assembled a force of 2,000 men including regular army, Tennessee volunteers, and friendly Creek Indians. Jackson did the unexpected and marched his troops south into Spanish Florida, burning every Indian encampment he found along the way. Congress was outraged by Jackson’s overreach. Not only had he led troops into another country without authorization, but he charged British citizens with inciting Indian aggressions and, going a step farther, had some hanged.

Whether referred to as one war or three, the first escalation is generally agreed to have commenced with the November 21, 1817 attack by General Edmund Gaines on the Seminole town of Fowltown located along Georgia’s Flint River. Town Chief Neamathla and his people, taken by surprise, were surrounded and fired upon. During their escape, three warriors and one woman were killed. Many others were shot and wounded. After the attack on Fowltown, the Indians retaliated at what is remembered as the Scott Massacre killing 34 soldiers, 7 women, and 4 children. The first escalated was the shortest lived. The significant result of this first escalation was Spain’s realization that it was unable to secure its borders against future American incursions. Subsequently, Spain ceded control of Spanish Florida to a growing America under terms of the Adams-Onis Treaty (1819-1821).

Second Escalation (1835-1842)

Third Escalation (1855-1858)