Secret Articles, Treaty of New York
Manuscript, 1790, National Archives.
The fugitive slaves of Florida were so prominently troublesome that in 1790
George Washington concluded one of the first treaties in U.S.
history, the Treaty of New York, for the express purpose of enlisting Creek Indians to
hunt down the black fugitives. The treaty failed, but over the next
four decades a long list of government initiatives took aim at the
Black Seminoles. Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, Andrew Jackson --
in all, 10 of first 12 U.S. presidents led policies dealing with the