Meanwhile, slave raiders from Georgia and the Carolinas stepped up their activities in the Seminole territory, attempting to kidnap Black Seminoles from their settlements. Seminole chiefs sought redress in local courts, but justice was hard to come by. Frontier judges frequently accepted the false claims of white and Creek slavers.* The judicial system was so lopsided that even Governor DuVal sympathized with the Indians:
"I could not consent to that sort of left-handed justice which gives all that is demanded to our citizens, and which withholds justice from this cheated, abused, and persecuted race."
But DuVal did not sympathize with the blacks. He strongly urged that the blacks be purchased from the Seminoles and sold into slavery, since "it is oweing to them that the Indians have not acted properly."
Mahon 61, Simmons 84, Carter 23: 413-14, 472-73, Sprague Origin 34-5, 42.
Part 1, Early Years: l
*Some claims to Black Seminoles were undoubtedly true, as Indians continued to raid plantations, and fugitives continued to find refuge with the Seminoles, despite the tribe's promises to the contrary. Most Americans claiming ownership of the Black Seminoles, however, had been indemnified for their losses when the country annexed Florida. U.S. taxpayers paid the bill for this expense, but that did not stop hundreds of people from falsely claiming individual Black Seminoles over the next four decades.