Rebellion 1815     
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1821 Map showing mouth of the Appalachicola River

Detail from "Plan of lands in East Florida purchased by Messrs. John Forbes & Co. from the Indians," an 1821 map showing the mouth of the Appalachicola River, including the site of the fort manned by rebel slaves that Jackson heard reports of in 1815. The fort is marked with an "X" near the top and center of the image. Courtesy Hargrett Rare Book & Manuscript Library - University of Georgia Libraries.
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Andrew Jackson

From 1814 on, Jackson sought pretexts for invading Florida. He communicated to President Monroe that he had a covert plan to secure "the whole of East Florida ... without implicating the Government." The plan revolved around the Black Seminoles. Jackson was acutely aware that Florida was a dangerous haven for fugitive slaves. He used this situation to build support for an attack on the Seminoles and their black allies, on the grounds that Indian depredations were terrorizing the southern frontier. As he explained later, he sought in Florida:

"To chastise a lawless foe, who, combined with a ... band of Negro brigands, have for some time past been carrying on a cruel and unprovoked war against the citizens of the United States."

The immediate excuse for invasion came in 1815, when Jackson received reports of armed blacks and Indians manning a fort on the Appalachicola River in western Florida.

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Sources: Jackson 2: 345, Davis 163, Jackson to F.C. Luengo in American State Papers: Foreign Relations (ASPFR) 4: 575.
Part 1, Early Years: Outline  l  Images
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 Trail Narrative
 + Prologue
 + Background: 1693-1812
 - Early Years: 1832-1838
+ World at Birth
+ Encroaching America
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Andrew Jackson
Negro Fort
First War
+ A New Country
 + War: 1832-1838
 + Exile: 1838-1850
 + Freedom: 1850-1882
 + Legacy & Conclusion