The Exiles of Florida
the purpose of upholding the honor, either of the Government, or of the
individuals who wield its administration, the Author of the following work
has endeavored to give a faithful record of those interesting events which
appear directly connected with the Exiles of Florida.
Torn from their native land, their friends and homes, they were sold in the
markets of Carolina and Georgia. Feeling the hand of oppression bearing
heavily upon them, they fled to Florida, and, under Spanish laws, became
free. Holding lands of the Spanish Crown, they became citizens of that
Territory, entitled to protection. To regain possession of their truant
bondmen, Georgia made war upon Florida, but failed to obtain her object.
At a time of profound peace, our army, acting under the direction of the
Executive, invaded Florida, murdered many of these free men, and brought
others to the United States and consigned them to slavery. An expensive and
bloody war followed; but failing to capture more of the Exiles, our army was
This war was followed by diplomatic efforts. Florida was purchased; treaties
with the Florida Indians were made and violated; gross frauds were
perpetrated; dishonorable expedients were resorted to, and another war
provoked. During its protracted continuance of seven years, bribery and
treachery were practiced towards the Exiles and their allies, the Seminole
Indians; flags of truce were violated; the pledged faith of the nation was
disregarded. By these means the removal of the Exiles from Florida was
effected. After they had settled in the Western Country, most of these
iniquities were repeated, until they were driven from our nation and
compelled to seek an asylum in Mexico.
Men who wielded the influence of Government for the consummation of
these crimes, assiduously labored to suppress all knowledge of their guilt; to
keep facts from the popular mind; to falsify the history of current events, and
prevent an exposure of our national turpitude.
The object of this work is to meet that state of circumstances; to expose
fraud, falsehood, treachery, and other crimes of public men, who have
prostituted the powers of Government to the perpetration of murders, at the
contemplation of which our humanity revolts.
The Author has designed to place before the public a faithful record of
events appropriately falling within the purview of the proposed history; he
has endeavored, as far as possible, to do justice to all concerned. Where the
action of individuals is concerned, he has endeavored to make them speak
for themselves, through official reports, orders, letters, or written evidences
from their own hands; and he flatters himself that he has done no injustice to