Officers realized that planning for the slave uprising had been in the works for months. White refugees eerily recalled the visits of Black Seminoles to their plantations in the months leading up to the war. It suddenly became clear that the escapes of hundreds of field hands to the Seminoles at the start of the war had all been part of a pre-arranged conspiracy. "I have ascertained beyond any doubt," wrote one of the commanding generals,
"... not only that a connection exists between a portion of the slave population and the Seminoles, but that there was, before the war commenced, an understanding that a considerable force should join on the first blow being struck."
Porter Negro 266-75, Brown "Race" 304, General Thomas Sydney Jesup quoted in Franklin
Runaway 87-88. ©
Part 2, War: l