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Rebellion October 25, 1834     
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Osceola knifes the Treaty of Payne's Landing, or does he?
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Osceola allegedly knifing the treaty of Fort Gibson, from the drawing in Andrew Welch's 1841 sketchbook of Seminole history, A Narrative of the Early Days and Remembrances of Oceola Nikkanoche. Florida Photographic Collection.

More on Welch

Welch was something of a sensationalist. He once invited audiences to watch him dress the wounds of a woman scalped by the Seminoles. After the war he adopted a young Seminole reputed to be the nephew of Osceola. He briefly toured England promoting the boy's story and his own sketchbook of Seminole history. The sketchbook included an entertaining diatribe against the U.S. position in the war, but the work conflated and exagerrated facts and was often outright inaccurate.
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On the third night, a new leader emerged. Throughout the discussions, Osceola had lobbied chief Micanopy behind the scenes. Finally he stepped forth, brandishing a knife, to let the assembly know his thoughts on emigration:

"The only treaty I will ever execute will be this!"

With that, Osceola allegedly plunged his knife into the negotiating table -- according to some, into the treaty itself:

"There remains nothing worth words. If the hail rattles, let the flowers be crushed - the stately oak of the forest will lift its head to the sky and the storm, towering and unscathed." -- Osceola at the Fort King negotiations*

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Sources: Sprague Origin 80, Cohen 62, Mahon 92, Wickman 42-3.
Part 2, War: Outline  l  Images

*Quotations attributed to Osceola and other Seminole leaders were recorded in military reports throughout the war.

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 Trail Narrative
 + Prologue
 + Background: 1693-1812
 + Early Years: 1812-1832
 - War: 1832-1838
+ Prelude to War
Jackson's Rise
Payne's Landing
Creek Country
Seminole Outrage
Osceola
Before the Storm
+ Revenge
+ Deceit
+ Liberty or Death
 + Exile: 1838-1850
 + Freedom: 1850-1882
 + Legacy & Conclusion

Sidetrack(s)

Did Osceola really plunge a knife into the treaty?