Arbuthnot and Ambrister

Arbuthnot and Ambrister

When the Spanish were slow in reaching a diplomatic solution to the issue of Florida, General Andrew Jackson took matters into his own hands and invaded Florida in order to attack the Seminole Indians. Later, at the village of Chief Bowlegs on the Suwanee River, he captured an English trader, Robert Ambrister, who had been involved in planning an Indian uprising.The two men were given courts-martial at St Mark's, and after conviction, Arbuthnot was hanged and Ambrister was shot on April 29, 1818. Secretary of State John Quincy Adams publicly defended Jackson's actions.Unable to gather support against the United States for this or any other incident, Spain at last signed the Adams-Onis Treaty in February, 1819, ceding all of East Florida to the United States.


Arbuthnot and Ambrister incident

Last updated January 28, 2021 "The trial of Ambrister during the Seminole War: Florida" (illus. from 1848)

The Arbuthnot and Ambrister incident occurred in 1818 during the First Seminole War. American General Andrew Jackson invaded Spanish Florida and captured and executed Alexander George Arbuthnot and Robert C. Ambrister, two British subjects charged with aiding Seminole and Creek Indians against the United States. Arbuthnot and Ambrister were tried and executed in modern Bay County, Florida, near what continues to be called Court Martial Lake. Jackson's actions triggered short-lived protests from the British and Spanish governments and an investigation by the United States Congress. Congressional reports found fault with Jackson's handling of the trial and execution of Arbuthnot and Ambrister, but Congress chose not to censure the popular general.

Robert Chrystie Ambrister (1797�) was a British subject and a native of Nassau in the Bahamas. Ambrister was the youngest son of Bahamian native James Jacob Ambrister [1] (1762-1834), who was then a lieutenant colonel in the colonial militia of the Bahamas. Son Robert had served in the Royal Navy as a volunteer and as a midshipman between 1809 and 1813, when he returned to the Bahamas. During 1814�, he served in Spanish Florida as an auxiliary 2nd lieutenant of the British Corps of Colonial Marines, commanded by Brevet Major Edward Nicolls of the Royal Marines. [2] [3] Discharged from the military in Nassau in 1815, [4] [5] the former Marine lieutenant returned to Spanish Florida in 1817 with his fellow former Marine, Brevet Captain George Woodbine, and the Scottish soldier of fortune Gregor MacGregor. [6]

Alexander (George) Arbuthnot (born in Montrose, Scotland, in 1748) [7] was an older man, a Scottish merchant, translator, and diplomatic go-between, on occasion, who had been present in Florida since 1803. [8] Jackson's execution of Arbuthnot, Ambrister, and at least two prominent Creek-Seminole leaders (Josiah Francis and Hoemotchernucho) was perceived, both in Great Britain and elsewhere, as an act of barbarity violating the conventions of warfare. [9]


Arbuthnot and Ambrister - History

On this date in 1818, on the authority of a military tribunal of doubtful legality, a general who would become a president hanged two British citizens for aiding America’s Indian enemies.

The First Seminole War saw the ambitious General Andrew Jackson appropriate for himself authority considerably beyond that authorized by Washington to escalate border conflicts around Spanish Florida into an outright invasion.

Andy Jackson LOATHED the British, after one of them almost cut his arm off, and his brother and mom died because of being in British captivity during the American Revolution.

I would say Jackson had the biggest “Payback is a M**********r” moment at the Battle of New Orleans, followed by hanging those two Pommies.

History/Education BUMP! Thanks very much for posting.

From obstruction & perjury all the way up to TREASON, and justice cannot put a ham sandwich on someone’s head. Uh. ok. you’re out of ham. All you got left is BALONEY? You can’t indict a BALONEY sandwich.

King Kong Bundy could’ve delivered better justice.

It’s a BIG CLUB out here, and they ARE NOT in it. How do “we the people. ” proceed? Dossiers on our reps, the scum and their propagandists. 330 MILLION vs. 535+++++++ SUPERCRIMINALS.

Our glorious President Trump has Andrew Jackson’s portrait on the wall of the oval office. Tradition says that a new President’s choice of predecessor portrait is a sign of admiration and of approval of their principles.

“America’s evolving pattern of imperial conquests”

ESAD, you lying canker sore.

If there’s ever a President MuttTheHoople, my portrait would be of Calvin Coolidge.

Coolidge was also a favorite of Reagan’s, even to the point of having his portrait on display in the oval office. The phlegmatic Coolidge was a genuinely kind and thoughtful person, much like Reagan.

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.


SOLD! for $7,800.00.

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Two (2) European flintlock pistols, history of ownership in the family of President Andrew Jackson, who is said to have seized the guns from Robert Christie Ambrister (1797-1818) and Alexander (George) Arbuthnot (1748-1818) during the First Seminole War. The two British citizens were captured and charged with aiding the Seminole and Creek Indians against the United States, and executed by then-General Jackson near what is still known today as Court Martial Lake, Florida. The "Ambrister and Arbuthnot Incident" triggered a Congressional investigation, the findings of which were critical of Jackson's actions, but did not result in censure. Lot is accompanied by a 1954 sworn affadavit from the pistols' late owner, Stanley Horn of Nashville, stating that according to Donelson family tradition, the firearms were given by Jackson to his friend and aide, General John Coffee, who later gifted the pistols to Jackson's adopted son, Major Andrew Jackson Donelson. Major Donelson bequeathed them to his son, William Donelson, who sold them to a Nashville bookseller, Paul Hunter, who in turn sold them to Mr. Horn they have descended in the family of Stanley Horn to the present consignor. Lot also includes two framed Kellogg prints of Jackson. 1st item: 62 cal. holster flintlock pistol with scimitar inlay. 19" overall, 11 3/4" smooth bore barrel. Brass furniture including trigger guard with repair, escutcheon plate, front blade, and sight thimble. Repousse of scimitar on right side of stock. Flintlock ignition is unaltered. Barrel has minimal decoration at breech with foliate outline, spine on top of barrel has engraving extending from breech to front sight. Front band is missing, has period repair with brass wire. The stock has carved design from front to rear. Stock is missing 4 1/2" splinter, and 1/8" just beneath the barrel. Escutcheon plate is plain and crude, possibly a period replacement. The lock appears functional, and the striker plate is grooved. Period decoration on the butt and crude inlay on the bottom. The ramrod is period and possibly original. The action only goes to half cock. 2nd item: 65 cal. Holster flintlock pistol. 18 1/2" overall, 12" smooth bore barrel. Brass furniture including front band, ramrod thimble, trigger guard, pierced escutcheon plate, pierced decorative inlay in rear, and brass butt plate. Wood broken in front of lock with period repair using a brass sheet and tacks. Light engraving on the trigger guard, escutcheon plate, back of stock, and there appears to be light engraving on ramrod thimble. Linear design on band that attaches barrel to stock. Tang and breech have engraved decoration, foliate engraving with deep impressed cartouche at breech of barrel. Trigger guard with light engraving to hammer and lock plate with matching engraving. 3" from breech has what appear to be a maker's mark. The striker plate has been replaced with a plate attached with two iron brads. Action goes to full and half cock. Does not appear to have been cleaned. Has minimal carving to stock. 3rd item: Framed affadavit with black and white photographs of the guns in this lot, signed by Stanley Horn and notarized, matted and framed (16" x 13" overall). 4th item: Lithograph, Silhouette of Andrew Jackson, Taken From Life, by Wm. H. Brown. Printed by E.B. & E.C.Kellogg. 16" H x 12" W sight, 17 1/2" H x 13 1/2" W in narrow black wood frame. Condition: Toning. 5th item: Lithograph, Gen. Andrew Jackson the Hero of New Orleans, printed by E.B. & E.C. Kellogg, 16 3/4" x 10" sight, in period veneered wooden frame, 22" x 15 1/2". Condition: heavy toning, 1" tear at top margin, losses to frame. Provenance: the estate of Stanley Horn, Nashville, Tennessee, by descent in his family to current consignor. CONDITION: See item description.

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Arbuthnot and Ambrister - History

The Troops along the Florida frontier become active -The Exiles on Suwanee and Withlacoochee prepare for War&ndashGeneral Gaines's representation of their numbers -Depredations committed during the Spring and Summer of 1817-Massacre of Lieutenant Scott and his party&ndashIts Effect upon the Country&ndashCongress not consulted as to this War&ndashGeneral Gaines authorized to invade Florida&ndashGeneral Jackson ordered to the Field&ndashMr. Monroe assumes the Duties of President&ndashHis Cabinet&ndashCharacter of Congress&ndashPublic Sentiment in regard to discussion of Subjects connected with Slavery-General Jackson concentrates his Army at Fort Scott-Proceeds to Mickasukie&ndashBattle&ndashDestruction of the Town&ndashMarches to St. Marks&ndashIndian Chiefs decoyed on board a Vessel&ndashHanged by order of General Jackson&ndashThe Army moves upon Suwanee&ndashIts Situation&ndashExiles prepare for a decisive Battle&ndashSevere Conflict&ndashGeneral Jackson takes the Town&ndashCaptures Indian Women and Children&ndashBurns the Villages of that region&ndashReturns to Pensacola&ndashCapture and Trial of Arbuthnot and Ambrister&ndashTheir Execution&ndashInvasion of Florida condemned by some of our Statesmen, and vindicated by others.

The nation having been precipitated into war (1816), the Officers of Government, and the army, at once became active in carrying it on. Orders were sent to General Gaines, exhorting him to vigilance, caution and promptitude. He was on the southern frontier of Georgia, where it was naturally supposed the first blow, in retaliation for the massacre of Blount's Fort, would fall. His scouts were constantly on the alert, his outposts strengthened, and his troops kept in readiness for action.

The Seminole Indians had lost some thirty men, who bad intermarried with the Exiles, and were in the fort at the time of the massacre. They entertain the opinion that the souls of their murdered friends are never at rest while their blood remains unavenged nor could it be supposed that the Exiles would feel no desire to visit retributive justice upon the murderers of their friends. Long did this desire continue, in the minds of the surviving Exiles, until, many years subsequently, their vengeance was satiated, their hands were stained, and their garments saturated, in the blood of our troops.

The surviving Exiles had their principal remaining settlements upon the Suwanee and Withlacoochee rivers, and in the Mickasukie towns. These settlements were on fertile lands, and were now relied upon to furnish provisions for their support during hostilities. Savages are usually impetuous but the Exiles were more deliberate. Colonel Clinch had returned to Georgia Sailing-Master Loomis was at Mobile Bay, and no circumstances demanded immediate action. They gathered their crops, obtained arms and ammunition from British and Spanish merchants, and made every preparation for hostilities. During the summer and autumn of 1816, General Gaines reported slight depredations on the frontiers of Georgia, but in February, 1817, be reported that larger bodies of Indians were collecting in some of their villages and in one of his letters he stated that seven hundred negroes were collected at Suwanee, and were being daily drilled to the use of arms. This number of fighting men would indicate a larger population of Exiles than is warranted by subsequent information.

During the Spring and Summer, both parties were in a state of preparation-of constant readiness for war. A few predatory excursions to the frontier settlements, marked the action of the Indians and Exiles, while the army, under General Gaines, often sent parties into the Indian country, without any important incident or effect. The first effective blow was struck in November. A boat was ascending the Appalachicola river, with supplies for Fort Scott, under the escort of a Lieutenant and forty men, in company with a number of women and Children. Information of this fact was communicated to the Exiles and Indians resident at Mickasukie, and a band of warriors at once hastened to intercept them. They succeeded in drawing them into ambush, a few miles below the mouth of Flint River, and the Lieutenant, and all his men but six, and all the children, and all the women but one, were massacred on the spot. Six soldiers escaped, and one woman was spared and taken to Suwanee as a prisoner. Here she was kept by the Exiles through the winter, and treated with great kindness, residing in their families and sharing their hospitality. She had thus an opportunity of learning their condition, and the state of civilization to which they had attained, as well as their desire to be at peace with mankind, in order to enjoy their own rights and liberties.

This massacre was regarded by the country as a most barbarous and wanton sacrifice of human life. The newspapers blazoned it forth as an exhibition of savage barbarity. The deep indignation of the people was invoked against the Seminoles, who were represented as alone responsible for the murder of Lieutenant Scott, and his men. Probably nine-tenths of the Editors, thus assailing the Seminoles, were not aware of the atrocious sacrifice of human life at "Blount's Fort," in July of the previous year. Even the President of the United States, in his Message (March 25), relating to these hostile movements of the Seminoles, during the previous year, declared "The hostilities of this Tribe were unprovoked," as though the record of the massacre at "Blount's Fort" had been erased from the records of the moral Universe. Notwithstanding our army had, in a time of profound peace, invaded the Spanish Territory, marched sixty miles into its interior, opened a cannonade upon "Blount's Fort," blown it up, with an unprecedented massacre, in which both Seminole Indians and negroes were slain, and two of their principal men given over to barbarous torture yet, the President, in his Message, as if to falsify the history of current events, declared that "as almost the whole of this Tribe inhabit the country within the limits of -Florida, Spain was bound, by the Treaty of 1795 to restrain them from committing depredations against the Unite States." Such were the efforts made to misrepresent facts, in relation to the first Seminole War. With its commencement, the people had nothing to do they were not consulted, nor were their Representatives in Congress permitted to exercise any influence over the subject. The correspondence between General Gaines and the Secretary of War, in regard to the occupation of the fort by the Exiles, had commenced on the fourteenth of May, 1815. It was continued while Congress was in session, in 1815 and 1816, but no facts in regard to the plan of destroying it, and entering upon a war, for the purpose of murdering or enslaving the Exiles, had been communicated to Congress or the public.

Orders were now issued to General Gaines, authorizing him to carry the war into Florida, for the purpose of punishing the Seminoles. General Jackson was ordered to take the field, in person, with power to call on the States of Tennessee and Georgia for such militia as he might deem necessary, for the due prosecution of the war and the most formidable arrangements were made for carrying on hostilities upon a large scale.

Mr. Monroe had assumed the duties of President in March, 1817. He had appointed Hon. John Quincy Adams Secretary of State, at the commencement of his administration but the office of Secretary of War was not filled by a permanent appointment, for some months, in consequence of Governor Shelby's refusal to accept it, on account of his advanced age. It was finally conferred on Hon. John C. Calhoun, who, through his entire official life, was distinguished for his devotion to the institution of Slavery and this war having been entered upon for the support Of that institution, it may well be supposed that he exerted his utmost energies for its vigorous prosecution.

The fifteenth Congress assembled in December, 1817. Most of the members from the free States had not enjoyed the advantages of having served long in that body. They afterwards showed themselves able men but the business of legislation requires experience, industry, and a perfect knowledge of the past action of government. This cannot be obtained in one session, nor in one Congress it can only be gathered by the labors of an active life. It is, therefore, not surprising that Congress granted to the War Department whatever funds the President required to carry on the war.

It is not our province to applaud, or condemn, public men but history represents no member of the fifteenth Congress as having proclaimed the cause of this war, or the atrocious massacre which characterized its commencement. On the contrary, those who spoke on the subject, represented it as entirely owing to the Indian murders on the frontiers of Georgia, and to the massacre of Lieutenant Scott and his men. There was great delicacy exhibited, and had been for many years previously, in regard to the agitation of any question touching the institution of Slavery and the people of the free and slave States appeared to feel that silence on that subject was obligatory upon every citizen who desired a continuance of the Union. These circumstances rendered it easy for the Administration to prosecute the war, with whatever force they deemed necessary for the speedy subjection of Indians and Exiles.

On entering the field of active service, General Jackson called on the State of Tennessee for two thousand troops. He repaired to Harford, on the Ockmulgee, where a body of volunteers, from Georgia, had already assembled, and organizing them, he requested the aid of the Creek Indians also. They readily volunteered, under the command of their chief, McIntosh, ready to share in the honors and dangers of the approaching campaign. With the Georgia volunteers and Creek Indians, General Jackson marched to Fort Scott, where he was joined by about one thousand regular troops.

With this force, be moved upon the Mickasukie towns, situated near the Lake of that name, some thirty miles south of the line of Georgia. It was the nearest place at which the Exiles had settled in considerable numbers. There were several small villages in the vicinity of this Lake, inhabited almost entirely by blacks. A large quantity of provisions had been stored there. There were several Seminole towns between Mickasukie Lake and Tallahassee, on the west.

The Exiles appear to have viewed the approach of General Jackson with coolness and firmness. They had evidently calculated the result with perfect accuracy. Their women and children were removed to places of safety, and their herds of cattle were driven beyond the reach of the invading army and some of their Indian allies followed the example thus set them by the Exiles yet others were not equally careful in calculating future events.

Neither Indians nor negroes bad made these towns their general rendezvous nor did they expect a decisive battle to occur at that point yet they prepared to meet General Jackson, and his army, in a becoming manner. Most of their forces were collected prior to the arrival of our troops. In making the requisite dispositions for battle, the Indians were formed in one body, and the negroes in another each being under their respective chiefs.

General Jackson encountered the allied forces at some little distance from the Mickasukie towns, April first. The battle was of short duration. The Indians soon fled. The Exiles fought with greater obstinacy. Their fire was so fatal that a reinforcement was ordered to that part of the field, and the Exiles were driven from their position, leaving twelve of their number dead upon the field.

In his official report of this battle, General Jackson insisted that British officers had drilled the negroes, and British traders had furnished them ammunition. He also reported that be burned more than three hundred dwellings, and obtained a supply of provisions and cattle for his army.

The Exiles, generally, retreated to Suwanee, and the Indians continued to hang around the American army, watching its movements. General Jackson, however, directed his course towards St. Marks, a Spanish fort, situated on the river of that name, some fifty miles southwest of Mickasukie Lake.

The American army reached St. Marks on the seventh of April, and remained there several days. One of the American vessels lying in Appalachicola Bay, hoisted British colors, in order to decoy some Indians who were looking at them from the shore. Two of the "Red Stick" band ventured on board they were said to be chiefs, and in alliance with the Seminoles. General Jackson ordered them to be hanged, without trial or ceremony, justifying the act by charging them with having participated in the massacre of Lieutenant Scott and his party, during the previous autumn, apparently unconscious that, by his own orders, two hundred and seventy people, including innocent children and women, had been most wantonly and barbarously murdered at the fort on Appalachicola, and that Lieutenant Scott and thirty men were murdered in retaliation for that act, according to savage warfare. He appears to have felt it due to offended justice, that these men should die for being suspected of participating in that act of retaliation. In all these cases, the most assiduous efforts were exerted to misrepresent the real state of facts.

The time occupied in the approach and capture of Fort St. Marks, gave to the Exiles and Indians full opportunity to concentrate their forces at Suwanee. It constituted the most populous settlement of the Exiles, after the destruction of that upon the Appalachicola. It was regarded as their stronghold. Surrounded by swamps, it was approached only through narrow defiles, which rendered it difficult for an army to reach it. Here many of the Exiles bad been born and reared to manhood. Here were their homes, their firesides. Here their chief, Nero, resided and here they concentrated their whole force. They bad removed their women and children, their provisions and cattle, to Places of safety, and coolly awaited the approach of General Jackson's army.[1]

Scouting parties were, however, sent out to harass his advance guard, and delay his approach, and render it more difficult but notwithstanding these obstacles, the army steadily advanced, and on the nineteenth of April reached the "Old Town" of "Suwanee," and found the allied forces in order of battle, prepared to contest the field. The Indians were again formed on the right, and the Exiles constituted the left wing, bringing them in conflict with the right wing of General Jackson's forces.

With the Exiles, there was no alternative other than war or slavery and they greatly preferred death upon the battle field, to chains and the scourge. We may well suppose they would fight with some degree of desperation, under such circumstances and the battle of Suwanee gave evidence of their devotion to freedom. They met the disciplined troops, who constituted General Jackson's army, with firmness and gallantry.[2]

At the commencement, their fire was so fatal that the right Wing Of the American army faltered, and ceasing to advance, gave signs of falling back. But the left wing, opposed to the Indians, made a successful charge the Indians gave way, and the reserve was suddenly brought into action to sustain the right wing, when a general charge was ordered, and the Exiles were compelled to fall back.[3]

General Jackson, in his official report of this battle, refers to the desperation with which the negroes fought, and says they left many dead upon the field, but does not mention their number. He entered the town and set fire to the buildings, and burned all the villages in the vicinity. He also captured some three hundred Indian women and children, while those belonging to the Exiles had been carefully removed beyond the reach of the American army. This superior caution and provident care appears to mark the character of the Exiles in all their conduct while the Indiana appear to have practised none of these precautions.

But the allied forces, defeated, and their warriors scattered in various directions, were pursued by McIntosh and his Creek warriors, who had accompanied General Jackson, until fearing the Seminoles might rally in force against them, they returned and again united with the American army.

This battle substantially closed the war of 1818. It had been commenced for the destruction of the Exiles they had shared in its dangers, and by their energy and boldness, had given intensity to its conflicts. From the time they united in the expedition for the destruction of Lieutenant Scott and his party, in November, 1817, until the close of the battle of Suwanee, they had been active participants in every skirmish, and had uniformly displayed great firmness bearing testimony to the truth of those historians who have awarded to the African race the merit of great physical courage.

General Jackson appears to have spoken as little of the Exiles as duty would permit, when communicating with the Secretary of War yet he was more free to complain of them in his correspondence with the Governor of Pensacola. In a letter to that officer, dated a few days after the battle of Suwanee, he says: "Negroes who have fled from their masters, citizens of the United States, have raised the tomahawk, and, in the character Of savage warrior have spared neither age nor sex. Helpless women have been massacred, and the cradle crimsoned with blood."

We can, at this day, scarcely believe that this eloquent description of savage barbarity was from the pen of a man whose order for the massacre of defenseless women and children, at the Fort on Appalachicola, bore date less than two years before writing this letter nor can we readily comprehend the effrontery of him who thus attempted to justify the invasion of Florida, by reference to acts done by the Exiles long after the army under his command bad entered that territory, and committed the most atrocious outrages ever perpetrated by civilized men upon an unoffending people.

After the battle of Suwanee, General Jackson returned to St. Marks, being unable to follow the Indians and Exiles into the more southern portions of Florida. While at St. Marks, he ordered a court-martial, constituting General Gaines president, in order to try Arbuthnot and Ambrister. The history of their trial and execution is familiar to the reader. The first and principal charge against Ambrister was, that he excited the negroes and Indians to commit murder upon the people of the United States the second charge was for supplying them with arms. On these charges he was convicted and executed. It was also alleged, that he was present at the battle of Suwanee and some writers say he commanded the Exiles on that occasion, and had previously taught them military discipline.

In May, General Jackson issued an Address to his troops, declaring, the war at an end and wrote the Executive, asking permission to retire to his home in Nashville, there being no further use for his services in the field.

The Exiles now returned to their homes. They bad full leisure to contemplate their situation. Many of their best men bad fallen. Nearly the entire population residing upon the Appalachicola River bad been massacred. Their villages at Mickasukie and Suwanee bad been burned and it is probable that nearly one half of their entire population had been sacrificed, in this first war waged by the United State's for the murder and recapture of fugitive slaves.

The invasion of Florida by General Jackson was condemned by many public men, and was approved by others with equal ability. Even the then Secretary of State, John Quincy Adams, in his correspondence with Don Onis, the Spanish Minister, defended the invasion with great ability. But in the discussions of this subject, we find no allusion to the massacre at "Blount's Fort" [4] that appears to have been regarded as a subject of too delicate a nature for public scrutiny. In the alcoves of our National Library, we find many volumes of documents touching this war, embracing some thousands of pages, in which there is the strongest censure expressed against the Seminoles for provoking the war, and condemnation for the barbarous manner in which they conducted it but we search them in vain to find any condemnation, by American statesmen, of the object for which the war was commenced, or the unprovoked and worse than savage massacre which marked its beginning.

[1]Monette says Arbuthnot sent word to the Negroes and Indians, notifying them of the approach of General Jackson but the official report of that Officer shows that his advance guard was daily engaged in skirmishing with the Indians.[Back to Document]

[2]Vide General Jackson's Official Report of this battle, Ex. Doc. 175, 2d Session XVth Congress.[Back to Document]

[3]Williams, in his History of Florida, states that three hundred and forty Negroes again rallied after the first retreat, and fought their pursuers, until eighty of their number, were killed on the field. "Monette" also states the same fact but General Jackson, In his Reports, evidently avoided as far as possible, any notice of the Exiles, as a people. Indeed such was the policy of the Administration, and of its officers, and of all slaveholders. They then supposed, as they now do, that slavery must depend upon the supposed ignorance and stupidity of the colored people and scarcely an instance can be found, where a slaveholder admits the slave to possess human intelligence or human feeling indeed, to teach a slave to read the Scriptures, is regarded as an offense, in nearly every slave State, and punishable by fine and imprisonment.[Back to Document]

[4] Various names have been given this Fort. The author, having heretofore adopted that of "Blount's Fort," prefers to continue that name. It was equally known, however, and the "Negro Fort," and as "Fort Nichols."[Back to Document]

Source :
Excerpt from "The Exiles of Florida, or The Crimes Committed by Our Government Against the Maroons, Who Fled From South Carolina And Other Slave States, Seeking Protection Under Spanish Laws." by Joshua R. Giddings. Columbus, Ohio: Published by Follett, Foster, and Company. 1858.

Arbuthnot and Ambrister - History

First Spanish Period 1513-1763

1513 Spain claimed La Florida

1565 Don Pedro Menendez de Aviles established San Agustín, or “St. Augustine”

Gracia Real de Santa Teresa de Mosé (Fort Mosé)

1693 King Charles II Proclamation granted liberty to slaves seeking refuge in Florida

1733 Royal edict reiterated freedom for English slaves seeking refuge in Florida

1738-1740 Fort Mosé I is destroyed by James Oglethorpe’s attack

1752-1763 Fort Mosé II residents left as Britain gained control of Florida

British Florida 1763-1783

  • The British used the Apalachicola River to divide Florida into two colonies (East and West) East Florida developed a plantation economy, with a considerable importation of enslaved Africans
  • Both Floridas remained loyal to Great Britain during the American War of Independence
  • Ahaya (Mikasuki), also known as Cowkeeper, met the new British governor, Patrick Tonyn

1770s Cuban fishermen began setting up ranchos on Florida Gulf Coast

1775 Bernard Romans published A Concise Natural History of East and West Florida

1783 William Panton, Thomas Forbes, and John Leslie created a trading company: Panton, Leslie and Company

Second Spanish Period 1783-1821

Prospect Bluff

1814 On May 10 th , British Captain Hugh Pigot anchored the HMS Orpheus near the mouth of the Apalachicola River leaving supplies and the Royal Marines under the leadership of Captain George Woodbine. These troops were to begin the military drilling of the Indians and runaway slaves on the Apalachicola as part of larger British strategy focused on taking New Orleans.

1814 On May 25, Woodbine oversaw construction at a site that would become a fortification: Prospect Bluff

1814 In August, Nicolls arrived on the Apalachicola with the HMS Hermes under Captain Percy and the HMS Caron under Captain Spencer

1814 On September 15, British Colonel Nicolls, Royal Marines and newly recruited locals failed to win their attack on Fort Bowyer at Mobile Point

1814 November 7–9, Andrew Jackson captured Pensacola

1814 In November, Edward Nicolls organizes a fort on a large mound at Chattahoochee Landing. Described as a square or rectangular earthwork fort, with a breastwork about four feet high, a stockade or picket work, and two pieces of artillery, a howitzer and a coehorn mortar. Evidence for this outpost is not clear in the archival record.

1815 In January, Colonel Benjamin Hawkins led a large force of allied Creek warriors to scout Nicolls’ Outpost he saw 180 white and black British troops and around 500 Red Stick and Seminole Peter McQueen and the Prophet Francis were reported in British uniforms. But the War of 1812 ended and Hawkins withdrew. Nicolls and the majority of his British, Black, and Native American forces are still at Prospect Bluff.

1815 On March 19, Admiral Cochrane orders Edward Nicolls to leave Florida leaves in summer 1815, abandoning Nicholls’ Outpost and taking Francis and others to London

1815 On April 22, Corps of Colonial Marines at Prospect Bluff were disbanded and the greater part of the Royal Marine garrison at Apalachicola embarked aboard HMS Cydnus.

1815 In Spring, people of African heritage, having absorbed Nicolls’ anti-slavery rhetoric, regarded themselves as British subjects. They staffed the fort at Prospect Bluff – as a maroon community that extended up and down the Apalachicola River

1816 On July 10, provisions from New Orleans for Camp Craword reached the mouth of the Apalachicola River on the schooners Semilante and General Pike and gunboats No. 149 and 154 commanded by Sailing Master Jarius Loomis

1816 On July 23, Creek soldiers, under William McIntosh, entered the fort to demand its surrender Garcon refuses.

1816 On July 27, sailing Master Jarius Loomis reached Prospect Bluff at 5 am and saw the red or bloody flag as well as the Union Jack after several shots, the first “hot” one entered the fort's powder magazine the ensuing explosion was massive, destroying the Negro Fort. Hundreds were killed Garcon and the Choctaw chief (unidentified in the records) were executed (in revenge for captured US soldier had been killed). Some survivors were brought to Fort Scott in August 1816 others fled to the Suwannee River.


  • Aubigné, Guillaume Merle d' Chinard, Gilbert. 1935. La vie américaine de Guillaume Merle d'Aubigné extraits de son journal de voyage et de sa correspondence inédite, 1809-1817, Paris, E. Droz Baltimore, Johns Hopkins Press. OCLC� - pp.𧆅–147.
  • Gales, Joseph. 1834-1856. The debates and proceedings in the Congress of the United States with an appendix containing important state papers and public documents, and all the laws of a public nature Washington, Gales and Seaton. OCLC� - "Seminole War", pp.𧉯–374.
  • Heidler, David and Jeanne Heidler. Old Hickory's War: Andrew Jackson and the Quest for Empire. Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania: Stackpole Books, 1996. ISBN 0-8117-0113-1.
  • Hoefer, Jean Chrétien Ferdinand. 1862. Nouvelle biographie générale depuis les temps les plus reculés jusqu'à nos jours, Paris : Didot. OCLC� - pp.𧆙–154
  • Narrative of a voyage to the Spanish Main in the ship "Two friends" the occupation of Amelia island by McGregor, etc.--sketches of the province of East Florida and anecdotes illustrative of the habits and manners of the Seminole Indians: with an appendix containing a detail of the Seminole Indians: with an appendix, containing a detail of the Seminole war, and the execution of Arbuthnot and Ambrister, London, Printed for J. Miller, 1819. OCLC� - pp.𧇄–312. . 1845. Memoranda of a residence at the court of London comprising incidents official and personal from 1819-1825, including negotiations on the Oregon question, and other unsettled questions between the United States and Great Britain, Philadelphia : Lea & Blanchard. OCLC� - Chapters iv & v.
  • Wright, J. Leitch, Jr. "A Note on the First Seminole War as Seen by the Indians, Negroes, and Their British Advisers". The Journal of Southern History 34, no. 4 (November 1968), 565-575.

This entry is from Wikipedia, the leading user-contributed encyclopedia. It may not have been reviewed by professional editors (see full disclaimer)


Arbuthnot and Ambrister - History

Upon the conclusion of peace with Great Britain the army was reduced to ten thousand men, commanded by two major-generals, one of whom was to reside at the North and command the troops stationed there, and the other to bear military sway at the South. The generals selected for these commands were General Jacob Browns for the Northern division, and General Andrew Jackson for the Southern, both of whom had entered the service at the beginning of the late war as generals of militia. General Jackson's visit to Washington on this occasion was in obedience to an order, couched in the language of an invitation, received from the Secretary of War soon after his return from New Orleans the object of his visit being to arrange the posts and stations of the army. The feeling was general at the time that the disasters of the War of 1812 were chiefly due to the defenseless and unprepared condition of the country, and that it was the first duty of the Government, on the return of peace, to see to it that the assailable points were fortified. "Let us never be caught napping again" "In time of peace prepare for war," were popular sayings then. On these and all other subjects connected with the defense of the country the advice of General Jackson was asked and given. His own duty, it was evident, was first of all to pacify, and if possible satisfy, the restless and sorrowful Indians in the Southwest. The vanquished tribe, it was agreed, should be dealt with forbearingly and liberally. The general undertook to go in person into the Indian country and remove from their minds all discontent. He did so.

It is not possible to overstate his popularity in his own State. He was its pride, boast, and glory. Tennesseeans felt a personal interest in his honor and success. His old enemies either sought reconciliation with him or kept their enemity to themselves. His rank in the army, too, gave him unequaled social eminence and, to add to the other felicities of his lot, his fortune now rapidly increased, as the entire income of his estate could be added to his capital, the pay of a major-general being sufficient for the support of his family. He was forty-nine years old in 1816. He had riches, rank, power, renown, and all in full measure.

But in 1817 there was trouble again among the Indiansthe Indians of Florida, the allies of Great Britain during the War of 1812, commonly known by the name of Seminoles. Composed in part of fugitive Creeks, who scouted the treaty of Fort Jackson, they had indulged the expectation that on the conclusion of peace they would be restored by their powerful ally to the lands wrested from the Creeks by Jackson's conquering army in 1814. This poor remnant of tribes once so numerous and powerful had not a thought, at first, of attempting to regain the lost lands by force of arms. The best testimony now procurable confirms their own solemnly reiterated assertions that they long desired and endeavored to live in peace with the white settlers of Georgia. All their "talks," petitions, remonstrances, letters, of which a large number are still accessible, breathe only the wish for peace and fair dealing. The Seminoles were drawn at last into a collision with the United States by a chain of circumstances with which they had little to do, and the responsibility of which belongs not to them.

The Government, in the absence of a general officer from the scene of hostilities, resolved upon ordering General Jaekson to take command in person of the troops upon the frontiers of Georgia. On the 22d of January, General Jackson and his "guard" left Nashville amid the cheers of the entire population. The distance from Nashville to Fort Scott is about four hundred and fifty miles In the evening of March 9th, forty-six days after leaving Nashville, he reached Fort Scott with eleven hundred hungry men. No tidings yet of the Ten nessee troops under Colonel Hayne! There was no time to spend, however, in waiting or surmising. The general found himself at Fort Scott in command of two thousand men, and his whole stock of provisions one quart of corn and three rations of meat per man. There was no supply in his rear, for he had swept the country on his line of march of every bushel of corn and every animal fit for food. He had his choice of two courses only: to remain at Fort Scott and starve, or to go forward and find provisions. It is not necessary to say which of these alternatives Andrew Jackson selected. "Accordingly," he wrote, "having been advised by Colonel Gibson, quartermastergeneral, that he would sail from New Orleans on the 12th of February with supplies, and being also advised that two sloops with provisions were in the bay, and an officer had been dispatched from Fort Scott in a large keel-boat to bring up a part of their loading, and deeming that the preservation of these supplies would be to preserve the army, and enable me to prosecute the campaign, I assumed the command on the morning of the 10th, ordered the live stock to be slaughtered and issued to the troops, with one quart of corn to each man, and the line of march to be taken up at twelve meridian."

It was necessary to cross the swollen river, an operation which consumed all the afternoon, all the dark night succeeding, and a part of the next Morning. Five days' march along the banks of the Appalachicolapast the scene of the massacre of Lieutenant Scott brought the army to the site of the old Negro Fort on Prospect Bluff On the way, however, the army, to its great joy, met the ascending boat-load of flour, when the men hadtheir first full meal since leaving Fort Early, three weeks before. Upon the site of the Negro Fort, General Jackson ordered his aide, Lieutenant Gadsden, of the engineers, to construct a fortification, which was promptly done, and named by the general Fort Gadsden, in honor, as he said, of the "talents and indefatigable zeal" of the builder.

On the 6th of April the army reached St. Marks, and halted in the vicinity of the fort. The general sent in to the Governor his aide-decamp, Lieutenant Gadsden, bearing a letter explanatory of his objects and purposes. He had come, he said, to chastise a savage foe, who, combined with a lawless band of negro brigands, had been for some time past carrying on a cruel and unprovoked war against the citizens of the United Slates." He had already met and put to flight parties of the hostile Indians. He had received information that those Indians had fled to St. Marks and found protection within its walls that both Indians and negroes had procured supplies of ammunition there and that the Spanish garrison, from the smallness of its numbers, was unable to resist the demands of the savages.

"To prevent the recurrence of so gross a violation of neutrality, and to exclude our savage enemies from so strong a hold as St. Marks, I deem it expedient to garrison that fortress with American troops until the close of the present war. This measure is justifiable on the immutable principle of self defense, and can not but be satisfactory, under existing circumstances, to his Catholic Majesty the King of Spain." [So added Jackson. ]

The Governor replied that he had been made to understand General Jackson's letter only with the greatest difficulty, as there was no one within the fold who could properly translate it. He denied that the Indians and negroes had ever obtained supplies, succor, or encouragement from Fort St. Marks. On the contrary, they had menaced the fort with assault because supplies had been refused them. With regard to delivering up the fort entrusted to his care, he had no authority to do so, and must write on the subject to his Government. Meanwhile he prayed General Jackson to suspend his operations. "The sick your Excellency sent in," concluded the polite Governor, "are lodged in the Royal Hospital, and I have afforded them every aid which circumstances admit. I hope your Excellency will give me other opportunities of evincing the desire I have to satisfy you. I trust your Excellency will pardon my not answering you as soon as requested, for reasons which have been given you by your aide-decamp. I do not accompany this with an English translation, as your Excellency desires, because there is no one in the fort capable thereof, but the before-named William Hambly proposes to translate it to your Excellency in the best manner he can."

This was delivered to General Jackson on the morning of the 7th of April. He instantly replied to it by taking possession of the fort! The Spanish flag was lowered, the Stars and Stripes floated from the flagstaff, and American troops took up their quarters within the fortress. The Governor made no resistance, and indeed could make none.

When all was over, he sent to General Jackson a formal protest against his proceedings, to which the General briefly replied: "The occupancy of Fort St. Marks by my troops previous to your assenting to the measure became necessary from the difficulties thrown in the way of an amicable adjustment, notwithstanding my assurances that every arrangement should be made to your satisfaction, and expressing a wish that my movements against our common enemy should not be retarded by a tedious negotiation. I again repeat what has been reiterated to you through my aide-de-camp, Lieutenant Gadsden, that your personal rights and private property shall be respected, that your situation shall be made as comfortable as practicable while compelled to remain in Fort St. Marks, and that transports shall be furnished, as soon as they can be obtained to convey yourself, family, and command to Pensacola."

Alexander Arbuthnot, a Scotch trader among the Indians, was found within the fort, an inmate of the Governor's own quarters. It appears that on the arrival of General Jackson he was preparing to leave St. Marks. His horse, saddled and bridled, was standing at the gate. General Jackson had no sooner taken possession of St. Marks than Arbuthnot became a prisoner. "In Fort St. Marks," wrote General Jackson, "an inmate in the family of the Spanish commandant, an Englishman by the name of Arbuthnot was found. Unable satisfactorily to explain the object of his visiting this country, and there being a combination of circumstances to justify a suspicion that his views were not honest, he was ordered into close confinement.

For two days only the army remained at Fort St. Marks. Suwanee, the far famed and dreaded Suwanee, the town of the great chief Boleck, or Bowlegs, the refuge of negroes, was General Jackson's next object. It was one hundred and seven miles from St. Marks, and the route lay through a flat and swampy wilderness, little known and destitute of forage. On the 9th of April, leaving a strong garrison at the fort, and supplying the troops with rations for eight days, the general again plunged into the forestthe white troops in advance, the Indians, under General McIntosh, a few miles in the rear.

The army made slow progress, wading through extensive sheets of water the horses starving for want of forage, and giving out daily in large numbers. Late in the afternoon of the third day the troops reached a "remarkable pond," which the Indian guides said was only six miles from Suwanee town. At sunset the lines were formed, and the whole army rushed forward.

But the prey had been forewarned. A letter from Arbuthnot to his son had reached the place and had been explained to Bowlegs, who had been ever since employed in sending the women and children across the broad Suwanee into those inaccessible retreats which render Florida the best place in the world for such warfare as Indians wage. The troops reached the vicinity of the town, and in a few minutes drove out the enemy and captured the place. The pursuit was continued on the following morning by General Gaines but the foe had vanished by a hundred paths, and were no more seen.

In the evening of April 17th the whole army encamped on the level banks of the Suwanee. In the dead of night an incident occurred which can here be related in the language of the same young Tennessee officer who has already narrated for us the capture of the chiefs and their execution. Fortunately for us, he kept a journal of the campaigns This journal, written at the time partly with a decoction of roots and partly with the blood of the journalistfor ink was not attainablelay for forty years among his papers, and was copied at length by the obliging hand of his daughter for the readers of these pages. "About midnight of April 18th," wrote our journalist "the repose of the army, then bivouacked on the plains of the old town of Suwanee, was suddenly disturbed by the deep-toned report of a musket, instantly followed by the sharp crack of the American rifle. The signal to arms was given, and where but a moment before could only be heard the measured tread of the sentinels and the low moaning of the long-leafed pines, now stood five thousand men, armed, watchful, and ready for action. The eagle of the alarm was soon made known. Four men, two whites and two negroes, had been captured while attempting to enter the camp. They were taken in charge by the guard, and the army again sank to such repose as war allows her votaries. When morning came it was ascertained that the prisoners were Robert C. Ambrister, a white attendant named Peter B. Cook, and two negro servantsAmbrister being a nephew of the English governor, Cameron, of the Island of New Providence, an ex-lieutenant of British marines, and suspected of being engaged in the business of counseling and furnishing munitions of war to the Indians in furtherance of their contest with the United States. Ignorant of the situation of the American camp, he had blundered into it while endeavoring to reach Suwanee town to meet the Indians, being also unaware thatthe latter had been driven thence on the previous day by Jackson."

Ambrister was conducted to St. Marks and placed in confinement, together with his companions. The fact that through Arbuthnot the Suwanee people had escaped, thus rendering the last swift march comparatively fruitless, was calculated, it must be owned, to exasperate the mind of general Jackson.

The Seminole War, so called, was over for the time. On the 20th of April the Georgia troops marched homeward to be disbanded. On the 24th General McIntosh and his brigade of Indians were dismissed. On the 25th General Jackson, with his Tennesseeans and regulars, was again at Fort St. Marks. It was forty-six days since be had entered Florida, and thirteen weeks since he left Nashville.

Ambrister had been connected with Arbuthnot in trading enterprises, and was believed to have headed some Indians and negroes in their defense of Suwanee. General Jackson put Arbuthnot and Ambrister both on trial for their lives before a court martial. Arbuthnot was accused of exiting and stirring up the Indians to war with the United States and of furnishing them the means to carry it on. He was found guilty and sentenced to death. Ambrister was also found guilty, and by two-thirds of the court was sentenced to death, but his case came up for reconsideration, when the sentence was changed to fifty stripes on the bare back and confinement at hard labor with ball and chain for twelve months. Jackson had both men executed by hanging. The case aroused much controversy in the country. A majority of the Military Committee of the Lower House of Congress condemned Jackson's action. The case, on being put to a vote of the House, resulted in 62 for disapproval and 103 against it.


Timeline

Robert Ambrister and Alexander Arbuthnot, two traders in Florida, were tried by Jackson&rsquos military tribunal and sentenced to death for aiding the Spanish, Indians, and Fugitive Slaves. On April 29, Arbuthnot was hanged from the masthead of his schooner and Ambrister was shot by a firing squad. 1819 The Adams-Onís Treaty of 1819 settled the land dispute between the United States and Spain. In this treaty Spain ceded Florida to the United States in exchange for $5 million. The United States gave up claims in Texas, establishing a new US and Spanish border in the Americas along the west Sabine River. The treaty was concluded on February 22 in Washington, D.C., however it took until 1821 for final revisions to be agreed upon. 1821 The Adams-Onis Treaty was officially proclaimed on February 22. This treaty was proposed in 1819 at the conclusion of the First Seminole War and took three years for both nations to settle. This treaty established a firm boundary between the two nations, a line that was disputed since the 1803 Louisiana Purchase. Spain controlled lands west of the Sabine River and the United states gained Florida as a territory. 1823 The Treaty of Moultrie Creek was signed on September 18 by representatives of the United States and the Seminole Indians. The treaty stipulated lands in central Florida for the Seminole, however, the land was subpar and the Seminole were unable to support themselves on it. Settlers around the reservation, as well as government officials were calling for the Seminoles to be relocated to lands out west. 1825 The United States Government renamed the Castillo de San Marcos to Fort Marion. The new name was chosen to honor General Francis Marion, a Revolutionary patriot from South Carolina. The fort continued to be called Fort Marion until 1942, when a Congressional act changed it back to the original Spanish name, Castillo de San Marcos, which it retains to this day. 1829 The George Washington was the first steamship to navigate the St. Johns River in May 1829. The George Washington traveled from Savannah to Jacksonville, a route soon established to serve the growing commercial economy of Florida. Steamboats transformed Florida travel for the next 70 years, and turned Jacksonville into a bustling distribution center. During the height of the steamboat era there were about 38 stops along the St. Johns. 1830 President Andrew Jackson passed the Indian Removal Act on May 26. A longtime enemy of the Indians, Jackson passed the law that allowed for the forceful removal of thousands of Native American Tribes from the southeastern states to areas west of the Mississippi River. The Seminole tribe in Florida resisted the move, and the Second Seminole War erupted in 1835 as a result of increasing US pressure on the tribe to relocate. 1832 James Gadsden held negotiations at Payne&rsquos Landing with leaders of the Seminole Tribe. Gadsden was attempting to move the Seminoles west. Seven chiefs were sent to inspect lands in the west, and upon seeing them some signed an agreement, however, once back in Florida all bets were off and the chiefs refused to move. 1834 Trinity Parish Church was established in St. Augustine in 1821 and is the oldest Protestant Church in the state of Florida. The first building was erected in the 1830s and was made of coquina. On June 30, 1831 the first service was held even though the building was not yet completed. The church was formally consecrated on June 5, 1834 by Bishop Nathaniel Bowen from South Carolina. 1835-42 Osceola, a leader of the Seminole, killed Indian Agent Wiley Thompson and 4 other men outside Fort King on December 28, 1835 sparking the beginning of the Second Seminole War. Francis Dade and his troops were ambushed at Fort King, near Ocala the same day, leading to a series of skirmishes. The Second Seminole War lasted for 7 years, and an estimated 300 Indians remained in the Everglades including chiefs Micanopy, Billy Bowlegs, and Sam Jones.

Repairs to the St. Augustine Sea Wall begin in 1835 by the United States Government. This project complimented the rehabilitation of Fort Marion, done around the same time. A $100,000 project, it extended the wall to 10 feet in height with 3 feet of granite coping. Stairways and boat and basins were made at the Plaza and Barracks for the unloading of supplies. The project was completed in 1842. 1837 Osceola and 71 warriors, 16 women, and 4 Black Seminoles were captured on October 20. Osceola was heading for Fort Peyton to discuss a truce, however Thomas Jesup had the group arrested and brought to St. Augustine. The Seminole captives were moved the Fort Moultrie in South Carolina where Osceola died three months later, on January 30, 1838. Osceola&rsquos arrest caused a national uproar the public condemned Jesup for violating a flag of truce. 1845 Florida became the 27th state in the United States of America on March 3, 1845. The first governor was William D. Moseley and David Levy Yulee became Florida&rsquos first senator. Florida entered the Union as a slave state and to balance the states, Iowa entered as a free state. Florida maintained a plantation-based economy, centered around the production of both cotton and sugar. With just over 600,000 inhabitants, half of Florida&rsquos population was enslaved. 1847 Father Felix Varela was orphaned in Cuba at the age of six and was sent to live in St. Augustine with his grandfather, a brevet colonel. He returned to Cuba for a short while, and returned to the US in 1823 and appointed vicar of the New York diocese. He returned to St. Augustine with failing health in 1849 where he died on February 25, 1853. He is remembered today as a priest, Cuban nationalist, publisher and philosopher. 1855 The Third Seminole War broke out in late 1855 and lasted until 1858. Chief Billy Bowlegs remained in the Everglades with around 300 Seminoles. A scouting party located the settlement and plundered the fields, leading to an attack by Bowlegs and his men. By 1858 Bowlegs accepted a settlement, and moved west with 163 Seminoles. Chief Sam Jones and about 200 other Seminole&rsquos remained in the Florida everglades after the close of the war. 1857 Augustine Verot was appointed Apostolic of Florida in December 1857. A man of deep faith, he was dedicated to education as well. In addition to his responsibilities in Florida, Verot served as Bishop of the Diocese of Savannah. He made many improvements to churches in Jacksonville, Key West, Tampa and Tallahassee. In March 1870, Pope Pius IX appointed Verot as the First Bishop of the Diocese of St. Augustine. 1861 Delegates from across Florida gathered in Tallahassee in January to discuss the Secession of Florida from the Union. Both Governor Perry and Governor-elect Milton supported the secession and on January 10, 1861, in a vote 62 against 7, Florida withdrew from the Union. It was the third state to withdraw from the Union. A formal Ordinance of Secession was signed the next day and Florida joined the Confederate States of America within the month. 1862 Union marines and sailors took Confederate held St. Augustine on March 11. The Confederate troops, called the St. Augustine Blues, spotted the gunboats entering the harbor and abandoned their posts, knowing they could not defend the city against the Union Forces. Commander C. R. P. Rodgers of the USS Wabash, negotiated the surrender of the city with acting Mayor Bravo. St. Augustine was held by the Union until the end of the Civil War.

Union forces sailed into Tampa Bay on June 30 and requested the city's surrender. The Confederates guarding the city, called the Osceola Rangers, refused to submit and the Union gunboat began firing on the city, stopping only to give citizens a chance to leave. The bombardment lasted for two days but the Rangers maintained control of the city. The Union gunboats departed in the afternoon of July 1st without capturing their prize. 1863 The African-American people of St. Augustine gathered to hear the reading of Abraham Lincoln&rsquos Emancipation Proclamation, issued on January 1. These newly freed slaves volunteered for the United States Army, joining the 21st, 33rd, and 34 USCT regiments. Among these men were Joseph Cryer, Pablo Gray, James Sanchez, and Simon Williams. 1864 Florida&rsquos largest battle during the Civil War occurred at Olustee station, near present day Lake City on February 20. The Battle of Olustee was one of the highest percentage losses for the Union troops during the entire Civil War, 1,800 of the 5,000 men who fought for the Union were listed as killed, wounded or missing. The Confederate forces won the Battle of Olustee, led by Brigadier General Finegan.

In March, General John Newton sailed two U. S. Navy ships just offshore of the St. Mark&rsquos lighthouse. Unable to sail upriver, the troops disembarked and marched toward the capitol. Confederate forces met Newton&rsquos men at Natural Bridge on March 4th and successfully repulsed three separate charges. This victory for the Confederacy secured Tallahassee as the only Confederate capitol to evade Union capture. 1865 General Robert E. Lee surrendered to Ulysses S. Grant on April 4, officially marking the end of the American Civil War. News of the confederate surrender spread throughout the nation. Earlier that month Florida&rsquos Governor, John Milton, committed suicide, very ill and deeply depressed over the military and political situation. Florida officially surrendered on April 26 and the stars and strips were raised over the capitol building in Tallahassee. 1866 Bishop Verot traveled to his homeland in France in 1866. He visited the Sisters of St. Joseph in Le Puy, requesting that some sisters be sent to Florida to educate the newly liberated blacks. Eight sisters left France on July 28th and arrived in St. Augustine on September 2, 1866. The Father O&rsquoReilly House served as both their convent and school. The school officially opened in 1867, to both black and white students. 1870 Pope Pius IX created the Diocese of St. Augustine on March 11, 1870. Father Augustin Verot was named Bishop of the Diocese, formerly Bishop of Savannah. Verot was from France and was part of the Society of St. Sulpice, he also brought the Josephine Sisters from Le Puy, to Florida and Georgia for missionary work. Verot was deeply dedicated to spreading Catholicism throughout the south, especially to newly liberated slaves. 1874 Construction of the St. Augustine Lighthouse was completed, replacing the earlier Spanish Lighthouse built in 1693. The new tower stood 161 feet tall and used a First Order Fresnel Lens, still in use today. The tower is conical in shape and has 219 stairs to the top. Today the Lighthouse is over 131 years old and still aids mariners entering St. Augustine&rsquos inlet.

John and Francis Wilson started the Free Public Library Association. It was first housed at the Government House, however, in 1896, the Wilsons purchased the Segui- Kirby Smith House and moved the library collection to 6 Aviles Street. St. John&rsquos County built a new public library in the 1980&rsquos and the Segui- Kirby Smith house was vacated. The St. Augustine Historical Society purchased the building in 1986 and moved their collection there in 1995. 1875 As settlers expanded into the Great Plains, issues with the Kiowa, Comanche, Cheyenne, and Arapaho Tribes increased. President Grant sent Lt. Richard Pratt to capture the ringleaders of the tribes. On April 28, Pratt left Fort Still with over 72 prisoners to be brought to Fort Marion in St. Augustine, arriving on May 21st. Pratt, also the founder of the Carlisle Indian School, had the prisoners draw sketches Doanmoe&rsquos being most famous today. 1881 Hamilton Disston purchased 4 million acres of land in the Everglades, said to be one of the largest purchases of land made by a single person in the history of America. He was a wealthy Philadelphian, who planned to have engineers drain the Everglades and develop the area. While his ultimate goal was not accomplished, Disston primed Florida for the land-boom that followed and paved the way for railroad and hotel developers like Flagler and Plant.

Construction on the Florida East Coast Canal began and continued until the 1920s. It eventually evolved into the Atlantic Intercoastal Waterway, stretching 1,391 miles from Trenton, New Jersey to Miami, Florida. The Intercoastal Waterway is still in use today for both commercial and pleasure vessels and it is maintained by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. 1883 Dr. Milton Waldo, D. DeWitt Webb, and Charlie Johnson officially formed the St. Augustine Historical Society on January 1, 1883. It is the oldest continuously operated historical society in the state of Florida. First called, the St. Augustine Institute of Science and Historical Society, it occupied the old Presbyterian manse on St. George Street. The building and collection were destroyed in a fire in 1914. Today the society operates The Oldest House Museum and a research library. 1884 On July 5, President Arthur approved an act securing $5,000 for repairs to Fort Marion. A picket fence was built, portions of the sea wall rebuilt, two bastions repaired, interior walls refaced, and portions of the terreplein (platform) were waterproofed. A drain was installed under the sally port, two bridges rebuilt leading in to the fort and a new floor was laid in Casemate number 4. An additional $15,000 was appropriated in 1890 for additional repairs. 1885 Henry Flagler purchased the stocks and bonds of three Florida Railroads, the Jacksonville, Halifax River and St. Augustine lines. As owner, Flagler modernized the tracks, converting them from narrow gauge to standard gauge width. His purchase of the Florida railroads marked the beginning of the Florida East Coast Railroad and Flagler&rsquos Florida Empire. The development of efficient rail travel ensured that Flagler&rsquos Hotels would become popular tourist destinations. 1885-88 Henry M. Flagler builds the Ponce de Leon Hotel. 1886 On April 13, members of the Apache Nation were brought to Fort Marion in St. Augustine. Geronimo&rsquos wife and son were part of this group Geronimo himself was imprisoned at Fort Pickens in Pensacola. There were 447 Indian prisoners in total at the fort, 82 of them were men and the rest were women and children. Many of these prisoners were transferred to Mount Vernon Barracks in Alabama where they remained incarcerated until 1894. 1887 Henry Flagler&rsquos Ponce de Leon Hotel was completed after two years of construction. A beautiful example of Spanish Renaissance architecture, the 540 room grand old hotel is now home to Flagler College, a private four-year institution. Flagler incorporated the newest technology of the time including electricity, indoor plumbing, elevators and the first electric clock in a public space. The grand opening took place on January 10, 1888 and the hotel operated until 1967.

On the morning of April 12 a fire swept through the city of St. Augustine. Originating at the St. Augustine Hotel, the flames took most of buildings north of the plaza including the Cathedral Basilica. As people fled the buildings and into the streets the city's only fire truck attempted to put it out. By the next morning the fire was extinguished but only the walls and façade of the old cathedral remained and the St. Augustine Hotel was a pile of ash.

A survey of the St. Augustine harbor was conducted between May and June. The surveyors, David DuBose Gaillard and William Murray Black, proposed the construction of jetties extending from both North Beach (Vilano Beach) and Anastasia Island spaced 1,600 feet from each other. Galliard and Black produced a map of their survey, published in 1889. Their proposals led to creation of today&rsquos 16-foot deep channel into St. Augustine&rsquos harbor. 1888 Boston architect Franklin W. Smith completed the Casa Monica Hotel in January 1888. Built in the Moorish Revival Style, Smith continued the theme he used for his residence Villa Zorayda in 1883. Henry Flagler purchased the hotel three months after it opened, renaming it the Cordova Hotel. The Cordova remained in operation until 1932, later converted into St. Johns County courthouse and annex.

On January 10, 1888 the first all-Pullman closed vestibule train traveled from Jersey City to Jacksonville in 29 hours and 50 minutes. These new cars were enclosed and had both electricity and heating. This train became called the Florida Special and opened at the same time as Flagler&rsquos Ponce de Leon Hotel.


Bay Radical

Since 1890, workers around the world have taken May 1st off for parading, celebrating, and demonstrating - first in support of the eight hour day, and still in support of fair conditions for working people. May 1st was chosen to commemorate the conviction of eight men accused of throwing a bomb at a May 1886 Chicago rally for the eight hour workday. (A reasonably good history of the affair can be found here.) This May Day if you're here in the San Francisco Bay Area, you're invited to celebrate with your fellow workers (and students) by joining the International Longshore Workers Union who are shutting down 29 West Coast ports in protest of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan or by joining the immigrant rights marches and rallies happening in San Francisco, Oakland, San Jose, and elsewhere. If your boss won't give you the day off, call in sick! And when you get home from all those marches please take a look at the rest of this post:

I'm please to present this month's History Carnival. A blog carnival is a collection of posts aggregated into one and rotated periodically among various blogs. I'm hosting this month and you can check out the next one at Progressive Historians on June 1st.

I'm opening this carnival with the music history posts I've been feeling: Comb and Razor introduces guitarist and producer Jake Sollo, a major figure in 80s Nigerian pop music, crud crud gives a brief history of bootlegs, and Soul Detective seems to have closed the case of Six James Duncan.

Moving on, here are my overall favorite history posts this month:

Axis of Evel Knievel posts about the Civil War era bread riots, when a crowd of women armed with clubs, rocks and guns took to the streets of the Confederate capital and demanded “bread or blood".

Zenobia: Empress of the East presents an eye opening portrait of the 19th Century lesbian sculptor Harriet Hosmer, complete with a cool photo of Hosmer made miniature in contrast to one of her enormous sculptures.

On Military History and Warfare you can read about the bloody incursion of Mongol armies into Europe during the mid-1200s. The key pull quote here is: After the battle, the Mongols cut off an ear from every fallen Christian warrior to make an accurate body count. Nine bags of ears were eventually sent to Batu as tribute.

Edge of the West revisits a horrific massacre of Apaches in 1871 and explores how even contemporary non-Indian historians fail to acknowledge the bloody history of manifest destiny.

Undercover Black Man posts a series of audio and video clips showing period reaction to the Martin Luther King assassination: Robert Kennedy's speech, Walter Cronkite's report, Jesse Jackson's reaction (when interviewed about the murder in 1976), and James Brown's April 5th, 1968 show which purportedly helped cool the rage in Boston's black communities.

Some of this month's other very readable history posts include:

Yonkerman's amazing Tuberculosis cure wasn't amazing nor was it a cure, but it did come with some aggressive and impressive marketing. Read about it on the Virtual Dime Museum.

Abnormal Diversity has begun translating Hans Asperger's 1944 description of autism and finds some of herself in his descriptions.

In his post, The Goddess of Mount Tai, The China Beat explores a transformation in popular Chinese spiritually 1,000 years ago.

Rustbelt Intellectual theorizes that the mostly unrecognized history of working class feminism might explain why working class white women gravitate towards Hillary Clinton. And while you're on the subject, find an illuminating if depressing breakdown of how Bill Clinton's administration ended the Democratic Party as we knew it at Progressive Historians. And don't miss Part II.

Peripherally connected, Tenured Radical reviews WACK! Art and the Feminist Revolution, an exhibit of visual art borne from the women's movement and on exhibit in Long Island City until May 12th.

The execution of Alexander Arbuthnot and Richard Ambrister as ordered by general and future president Andrew Jackson is recounted at executed today. Arbuthnot and Ambrister, a Scotsman and an Englishman, were accused of collaborating with Creek and Seminole fighters and were executed without much of a trial. Sounds familiar.

History is Elementary discovers some history beneath the Augusta National Golf Tournament: and to think this ground has been lying here all these years waiting for someone to come along and lay a golf course upon it.

The Picket Line presents a history of Quaker war tax resistance, excerpting from Isaac Sharpless’s 1898 book A Quaker Experiment in Government. But April 15th is not just for taxes: trivial, yet historical events also transpired on this day as you can see at Our Great Southern Land.

If you thought the Great Exhibition of 1851 (housed in London's incomparable Crystal Palace) was cool, you should check out the competition at the Victorian Peeper. A much more recent bit of the English experience is described at Scandalous Women where you can read about a notorious British sex scandal.

View a pictoral history of computer data storage from pingdom. (I liked the enormous 10 kb drum memory machine!) And metafilter links to a history of recording technologies.

Also geeky in the best sense, Language Log introduces us to Dr. Syntax and in a totally different vein, Appalachian History has a short and sweet post about Hobo Nickels.

So what? you ask? Easily Distracted suggests some historians' answers.

Thanks for all your submissions folks and also thanks to Sharon Howard for keeping this project together. Submit your history posts for next month's carnival here.


Arbuthnot and Ambrister - History

THE FIRST SEMINOLE WAR
(1817-1818)

Upon the conclusion of peace with Great Britain the army was reduced to ten thousand men, commanded by two major-generals, one of whom was to reside at the North and command the troops stationed there, and the other to bear military sway at the South. The generals selected for these commands were General Jacob Brown 2 for the Northern division, and General Andrew Jackson for the Southern, both of whom had entered the service at the beginning of the late war as generals of militia. General Jackson's visit to Washington on this occasion was in obedience to an order, couched in the language of an invitation, received from the Secretary of War soon after his return from New Orleans the object of his visit being to arrange the posts and stations of the army. The feeling was general at the time that the disasters of the War of 1812 were chiefly due to the defenseless and unprepared condition of the country, and that it was the first duty of the Government, on the return of peace, to see to it that the assailable points were fortified. "Let us never be caught napping again" "In time of peace prepare for war" were popular sayings then. On these and all other subjects connected with the defense of the country the advice of General Jackson was asked and given. His own duty, it was evident, was first of all to pacify, and if possible satisfy, the restless and sorrowful Indians in the Southwest. The vanquished tribe, it was agreed, should be dealt with forbearingly and liberally. The general undertook to go in person into the Indian country and remove from their minds all discontent. He did so.

It is not possible to overstate his popularity in his own State. He was its pride, boast, and glory. Tennesseeans felt a personal interest in his honor and success., His old enemies either sought reconciliation with him or kept their enemity to themselves. His rank in the army, too, gave him unequaled social eminence and, to add to the other felicities of his lot, his fortune now rapidly increased, as the entire income of his estate could be added to his capital, the pay of a major-general being sufficient for the support of his family. He was forty-nine years old in 1816. He had riches, rank, power, renown, and all in full measure.

But in 1817 there was trouble again among the Indians—the Indians of Florida, the allies of Great Britain during the War of 1812, commonly known by the name of Seminoles. Composed in part of fugitive Creeks, who scouted the treaty of Fort Jackson, they had indulged the expectation that on the conclusion of peace they would be restored by their powerful ally to the lands wrested from the Creeks by Jackson's conquering army in 1814. This poor remnant of tribes once so numerous and powerful had not a thought, at first, of attempting to regain the lost lands by force of arms. The best testimony now procurable confirms their own solemnly reiterated assertions that they long desired and endeavored to live in peace with the white settlers of Georgia. All their "talks," petitions, remonstrances, letters, of which a large number are still accessible, breathe only the wish for peace and fair dealing. The Seminoles were drawn at last into a collision with the United States by a chain of circumstances with which they had little to do and the responsibility of which belongs not to them.

The Government, in the absence of a general officer from the scene of hostilities, resolved upon ordering General Jackson to take command in person of the troops upon the frontiers of Georgia. On the 22d of January, General Jackson and his "guard" left Nashville amid the cheers of the entire population. The distance from Nashville to Fort Scott is about four hundred and fifty miles. In the evening of March 9th, forty-six days after leaving Nashville, he reached Fort Scott with eleven hundred hungry men. No tidings yet of the Tennessee troops under Colonel Hayne! There was no time to spend, however, in waiting or surmising. The general found himself at Fort Scott in command of two thousand men, and his whole stock of provisions one quart of corn and three rations of meat per man. There was no supply in his rear, for he had swept the country on his line of march of every bushel of corn and every animal fit for food. He had his choice of two courses only: to remain at Fort Scott and starve, or to go forward and find provisions. It is not necessary to say which of these alternatives Andrew Jackson selected. "Accordingly," he wrote, "having been advised by Colonel Gibson, quartermaster-general, that he would sail from New Orleans on the 12th of February with supplies, and being also advised that two sloops with provisions were in the bay, and an officer had been dispatched from Fort Scott in a large keel-boat to bring up a part of their loading, and deeming that the preservation of these supplies would be to preserve the army, and enable me to prosecute the campaign, I assumed the command on the morning of the 10th, ordered the live stock to be slaughtered and issued to the troops, with one quart of corn to each man, and the line of march to be taken up at twelve meridian."

It was necessary to cross the swollen river , an operation which consumed all the afternoon, all the dark night succeeding, and a part of the next morning. Five days' march along the banks of the Appalachicola—past the scene of the massacre of Lieutenant Scott—brought the army to the site of the old Negro Fort on Prospect Bluff. On the way, however, the army, to its great joy, met the ascending boat-load of flour, when the men had, their first full meal since leaving Fort Early, three weeks before. Upon the site of the Negro Fort, General Jackson ordered his aide, Lieutenant Gadsden, of the engineers, to construct a fortification, which was promptly done, and named by the general Fort Gadsden, in honor, as he said, of the "talents and indefatigable zeal" of the builder.

On the 6th of April the army reached St. Marks, and halted in the vicinity of the fort. The general sent in to the Governor his aide-de-camp, Lieutenant Gadsden, bearing a letter explanatory of his objects and purposes. He had come, he said, "to chastise a savage foe who, combined with a lawless band of negro brigands, had been for some time past carrying on a cruel and unprovoked war against the citizens of the United States." He had already met and put to flight parties of the hostile Indians. He had received information that those Indians had fled to St. Marks and found protection within its walls that both Indians and negroes had procured supplies of ammunition there and that the Spanish garrison, from the smallness of its numbers, was unable to resist the demands of the savages.

"To prevent the recurrence of so gross a violation of neutrality, and to exclude our savage enemies from so strong a hold as St. Marks, I deem it expedient to garrison that fortress with American troops until the close of the present war. This measure is justifiable on the immutable principle of self-defense, and can not but be satisfactory, under existing circumstances, to his Catholic Majesty the King of Spain." [So added Jackson.]

The Governor replied that he had been made to understand General Jackson's letter only with the greatest difficulty, as there was no one within the fort who could properly translate it. He denied that the Indians and negroes had ever obtained supplies, succor, or encouragement from Fort St. Marks. On the contrary, they had menaced the fort with assault because supplies had been refused them. With regard to delivering up the fort entrusted to his care, he had no authority to do so, and must write on the subject to his Government. Meanwhile he prayed General Jackson to suspend his operations. "The sick your Excellency sent in," concluded the polite Governor, "are lodged in the Royal Hospital, and I have afforded them every aid which circumstances admit. I hope your Excellency will give me other opportunities of evincing the desire I have to satisfy you. I trust your Excellency will pardon my not answering you as soon as requested, for reasons which have been given you by your aide-de-camp. I do not accompany this with an English translation, as your Excellency desires, because there is no one in the fort capable thereof, but the before-named William Hambly proposes to translate it to your Excellency in the best manner he can."

This was delivered to General Jackson on the morning of the 7th of April. He instantly replied to it by taking possession of the fort! The Spanish flag was lowered, the Stars and Stripes floated from the flagstaff, and American troops took up their quarters within the fortress. The Governor made no resistance, and indeed could make none. When all was over, he sent to General Jackson a formal protest against his proceedings, to which the General briefly replied: "The occupancy of Fort St. Marks by my troops previous to your assenting to the measure became necessary from the difficulties thrown in the way of an amicable adjustment, notwithstanding my assurances that every arrangement should be made to your satisfaction, and expressing a wish that my movements against our common enemy should not be retarded by a tedious negotiation. I again repeat what has been reiterated to you through my aide-de-camp, Lieutenant Gadsden, that your personal rights and private property shall be respected, that your situation shall be made as comfortable as practicable while compelled to remain in Fort St. Marks, and that transports shall be furnished, as soon as they can be obtained to convey yourself, family, and command to Pensacola."

Alexander Arbuthnot, a Scotch trader among the Indians, was found within the fort, an inmate of the Governor's own quarters. It appears that on the arrival of General Jackson he was preparing to leave St. Marks. His horse, saddled and bridled, was standing at the gate. General Jackson had no sooner taken possession of St. Marks than Arbuthnot became a prisoner. "In Fort St. Marks," wrote General Jackson, "an inmate in the family of the Spanish commandant, an Englishman by the name of Arbuthnot was found. Unable satisfactorily to explain the object of his visiting this country, and there being a combination of circumstances to justify a suspicion that his views were not honest, he was ordered into close confinement."

For two days only the army remained at Fort St. Marks. Suwanee, the far-famed and dreaded Suwanee, the town of the great chief Boleck, or Bowlegs, the refuge of negroes, was General Jackson's next object. It was one hundred and seven miles from St. Marks, and the route lay through a flat and swampy wilderness, little known and destitute of forage. On the 9th of April, leaving a strong garrison at the fort, and supplying the troops with rations for eight days, the general again plunged into the forest—the white troops in advance, the Indians, under General McIntosh, few miles in the rear.

The army made slow progress, wading through extensive sheets of water the horses starving for want of forage, and giving out daily in large numbers. Late in the afternoon of the third day the troops reached a "remarkable pond," which the Indian guides said was only six miles from Suwanee town. At sunset the lines were formed, and the whole army rushed forward.

But the prey had been forewarned. A letter from Arbuthnot to his son had reached the place and had been explained to Bowlegs, who had been ever since employed in sending the women and children across the broad Suwanee into those inaccessible retreats which render Florida the best place in the world for such warfare as Indians wage. The troops reached the vicinity of the town, and in a few minutes drove out the enemy and captured the place. The pursuit was continued on the following morning by General Gaines but the foe had vanished by a hundred paths, and were no more seen. . . .

In the evening of April 17th the whole army encamped on the level banks of the Suwanee. In the dead of night an incident occurred which can here be related in the language of the same young Tennessee officer who has already narrated for us the capture of the chiefs and their execution. Fortunately for us, he kept a journal of the campaign. This journal, written at the time partly with a decoction of roots and partly with the blood of the journalist—for ink was not attainable—lay for forty years among his papers, and was copied at length by the obliging hand of his daughter for the readers of these pages. "About midnight of April 18th," wrote our journalist, "the repose of the army, then bivouacked on the plains of the old town of Suwanee, was suddenly disturbed by the deep-toned report of a musket, instantly followed by the sharp crack of the American rifle. The signal to arms was given, and where but a moment before could only be heard the measured tread of the sentinels and the low moaning of the long-leafed pines, now stood five thousand men, armed, watchful, and ready for action. The cause of the alarm was soon made known. Four men, two whites and two negroes, had been captured while attempting to enter the camp. They were taken in charge by the guard, and the army again sank to such repose as war allows her votaries. When morning came it was ascertained that the prisoners were Robert C. Ambrister, a white attendant named Peter B. Cook, and two negro servants—Ambrister being a nephew of the English governor, Cameron, of the Island of New Providence, an ex-lieutenant of British marines, and suspected of being engaged in the business of counseling and furnishing munitions of war to the Indians in furtherance of their contest with the United States. Ignorant of the situation of the American camp, he had blundered into it while endeavoring to reach Suwanee town to meet the Indians, being also unaware that the latter had been driven thence on the previous day by Jackson." 3

Ambrister was conducted to St. Marks and placed in confinement, together with his companions. The fact that through Arbuthnot the Suwanee people had escaped, thus rendering the last swift march comparatively fruitless, was calculated, it must be owned, to exasperate the mind of General Jackson.

The Seminole War, so called, was over, for the time. On the 20th of April the Georgia troops marched homeward to be disbanded. On the 24th, General McIntosh and his brigade of Indians were dismissed. On the 25th General Jackson, with his Tennesseeans and regulars, was again at Fort St. Marks. It was forty-six days since he had entered Florida, and thirteen weeks since he left Nashville.

1 From Parton's "Life of Jackson." By permission of the publishers, D. Appleton & Co. Copyright 1892. The first Seminole War was brought on by depredations committed by the Indians on frontier settlements in the South. Jackson's success in this war had an important bearing on the subsequent acquisition of Florida by the United States. It was during a discussion in Congress as to Jackson's conduct of the war that the Spanish minister signed a treaty for the cession of Florida to the United States. Various claims made by Americans were extinguished under this treaty through the payment to the claimants by the American Government of $5,000,000. Had Jackson failed in his campaign, it is unlikely that the treaty would have been negotiated.
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2 General Brown, a native of Buck's County, Pa., was made a brigadier-general in the regular army in 1813. In the following year he was placed in command of the Army of Niagara, with the rank of major-general, and fought the British at Chippewa and Lundy's Lane, where General Winfield Scott distinguished himself. General Brown, in 1821, was made General-in-Chief of the Army of the United States.
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3 Ambrister had been connected with Arbuthnot in trading enterprises, and was believed to have headed some Indians and negroes in their defense of Suwanee. General Jackson put Arbuthnot and Ambrister both on trial for their lives before a court-martial. Arbuthnot was accused of exciting and stirring up the Indians to war with the United States and of furnishing them the means to carry it on. He was found guilty and sentenced to death. Ambrister was also found guilty, and by two-thirds of the court was sentenced to death, but his case came up for reconsideration, when the sentence was changed to fifty stripes on the bare back and confinement at hard labor with ball and chain for twelve months. Jackson had both men executed by hanging. The case aroused much controversy in the country. A majority of the Military Committee of the Lower House of Congress condemned Jackson's action. The case, on being put to a vote of the House, resulted in 62 for disapproval and 103 against it.
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Watch the video: In Memory of Willard Goff, John arbuthnot and Dink ewing