Monday, March 3, 2008

An Indian Attack in Jackson County - 1841

From 1835 until 1842 (even later in some areas), Florida was the scene of a bloodbath remembered today as the Second Seminole War. The following article relates one incident of the war that took place in Jackson County about 12 miles south of Marianna. It appeared in the Augusta Chronicle on August 4, 1841.

Keep in mind as you read this, that neither side (white or Native American) fighting in this war particularly liked each other. The Jackson County Militia had been accused just a couple of years earlier of massacring a group of unarmed Indians in Walton County. Acts such as this were perpetrated by individuals on both sides:

We learn by a letter received by the last mail from Marianna, that a few days since, a part of Indians, supposed to number about 30 visited the settlement of Mr. Morris Simms, in Jackson county, about 12 miles below Mariana, near the Chipola river, murdered his two daughters, the one seven and the other two years of age, plundered his smoke house of a quantity of bacon, a barrel of flour, and what other provisioins they could find, killed several hogs and crippled two horses with spears or spiked arrows. The little girls were found in the cowpen, pierced with spiked arrows, and their brains dashed out with lightwood knots.

As soon as the news of the murder reached Mariana, a company of volunteers under the command of Maj. W.C. Bryant started off in pursuit of the skulking assassins. But they had made good their retreat, and their trail could be traced no further than a hammock some three or four miles from the scene of the outrage.

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