Third Seminole War, 1855 to 1858

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United States Genealogy Gotoarrow.png U.S. Military Gotoarrow.png Indian Wars, 1780s-1890s Gotoarrow.png Third Seminole War, 1855-1858

Third Seminole War, 1855-1858
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History[edit | edit source]

The Third Seminole War, sometimes referred to as the Seminole War, took place in Florida between 1855 and 1858.

Led by chief Billy Bowlegs who had assumed control over the Florida Seminoles after the older leader chief Sam Jones neared 100 years of age, the Seminole People had no choice but to fight. Chief Bowlegs repeatedly told the American's he wanted peace and to be left alone. American soldiers destroyed chief Bowlegs banana crop which enraged him and led him to retaliate. He knew the United States would not leave the Seminole People in peace.

For around a decade the United States repeatedly tried to bribe (buy) chief Bowlegs into leading the Seminoles out of Florida. He refused each time. That is why the United States deliberately initiated the Third Seminole War.

It was not a true war in the sense. At the time only around 300 or so Seminoles lived in Florida. It was mainly a few raids and nothing major. Chief Bowlegs was finally persuaded by Seminoles from Oklahoma who visited Florida, into agreeing to relocate to Oklahoma.

In May of 1858, chief Bowlegs led 171 Seminoles to Oklahoma. Later on in 1858, he led another 75 Seminoles to Oklahoma. Chief Sam Jones refused to surrender and led the few remaining Seminoles deeper into the Everglades. They numbered between 50 and 100.

Chief Sam Jones died in 1860 at the age of 100 or nearly 100. For the next 20 years, little is known about the history of the Florida Seminoles. In 1880, a researcher from the Bureau of American Ethnology, found five Seminole villages and counted their population at 208.

By 1900, the Florida Seminole population was 575 which means something transpired that is not known of at the present time. Between 1880 and 1900, the Florida Seminole population tripled which means they were joined by other Indians sometime between 1800 and 1900.

Records[edit | edit source]

States: IRA Florida Seminole population estimate 1930 1902 Florida Seminole Population

References[edit | edit source]