Context in which Jesup pondered extreme actions
to main trail
Jesup's frustrations shine through in this letter to Secretary of War Poinsett, written one week after the mass flight from Tampa Bay. It is interesting to note, however, that rather than actually suggesting a war of extermination, he seems to be implying that this politically unacceptable option was the only way to remove the Seminoles once and for all. Stating the case in these terms, he implicitly argues for a softening of U.S. policy toward the Seminoles:
"To have made a durable peace would have been an easy matter. The Indians felt themselves beaten, and were tired of the war. One month ago I could have made a treaty with them as permanent as that with Great Britain, and have restricted them to any limits I might have assigned them. But the scheme of emigration I consider impracticable. This is the first instance in our history in which we have attempted to transfer Indians from one wilderness to another. On all other occasions the white population has been pressing and crowding them out before we have attempted to remove them. To rid the country of them you must exterminate them. Is the government prepared for such a measure? Will public opinion sustain it? If so, resort must be had to the bloodhound and the northern
ASPMA 7: 872.
Part 2, War: l