“It is a negro, not an Indian war”

Matthew Clavin

in America's Hundred Years' War

Published by University Press of Florida

Published in print January 2011 | ISBN: 9780813035253
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780813039121 | DOI:
“It is a negro, not an Indian war”

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This chapter reveals the intense fear harbored by the Americans, especially those in the slaveholding South, of a massive slave rebellion originating from a concerted alliance of African and Indian in Florida. By focusing on literary accounts of the day, this chapter looks at the Second Seminole War as a war against blacks as much as against Indians. By connecting the slave insurrection on the island of St. Domingo to the Nat Turner rebellion in the United States, whites throughout the American South feared that the events in Florida could indeed incite a substantial slave rebellion. This chapter convincingly shows that the fate of the Seminole joined with that of the African in Florida, and that the topic of slavery and of fugitive and free blacks among the Florida Indians cannot be dissected from the story of U.S.-Seminole relations.

Keywords: slaveholding; slave rebellion; Second Seminole War; American South; free blacks; Florida Indians; U.S.-Seminole relations

Chapter.  12578 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: History of the Americas

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