spacer
Rebellion 1836 - 1842     
spacer
spacerspacer
spacerHomespacer spacerOverviewspacer spacerTrail Narrativespacer spacerHighlightsspacer spacerMapsspacer spacerResourcesspacer spacerImagesspacer spacer
spacer
Ethan Allen Hitchcock
spacer
Major (later General) Ethan Allen Hitchcock, in a daguerreotype created between 1851 and 1860. Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division, LC-USZ6-1970.
spacer
Previous slide Next slide
Sidetrack
Next sidetrack
Sidetrack:
Ethan Allen Hitchcock, Philosopher-Soldier

Back to main trail

Hitchcock, the grandson of Revolutionary hero Ethan Allen, was a well-educated soldier with a philosophical turn of mind. In intervals during the fighting, he took notes on Kant's Critique of Pure Reason, which he was reading in the original German.

He left Florida early in 1836 to accompany General Gaines to the west, but when he returned in 1840, he was less sanguine than ever about the conflict. "To carry on such a war seems an idle, if not a wicked waste of life and treasure," he wrote in his diary. In a letter to Reverend W.G. Eliot, he added:

"This service is harder on me than on most others, for I know the cruel wrongs to which the enemy has been subjected, so I can not help wishing that the right may prevail, which is, to use your own language, 'praying for the Indians.'"

The philosopher and skeptic was far from alone. Nearly to a man, officers of the regular army shared the belief that the Treaty of Payne's Landing, which had precipitated the war, was "a foul blot upon the escutcheon of the nation." It was not unusual for white men to harbor in private, and later express in public, the feeling that the Indians fought for the nobler cause.

Previous slidespacerspacer




Sources: Mahon 77, Hitchcock 125-28, McKenney Memoirs 274-75.
Part 2, War: Outline  l  Images
spacer spacer
 Trail Narrative
 + Prologue
 + Background: 1693-1812
 + Early Years: 1812-1832
 - War: 1832-1838
+ Prelude to War
+ Revenge
spacer spacer War Erupts
"Massacre"
Withlacoochee
Key Actors
Florida
Slave Uprising
Army Response
National Mood
Distractions
Seminole Success
+ Deceit
+ Liberty or Death
 + Exile: 1838-1850
 + Freedom: 1850-1882
 + Legacy & Conclusion

Sidetrack(s)

Ethan Allen Hitchcock, Philosopher-Soldier

Hitchcock's description of the battle scene

Back to main trail >>