The Seminole Wars were a series of clashes between the Native American Seminole
tribes of Florida
and United States of America
The pretense for the First Seminole War (1817-1818) were attempts by Southern planters to recapture slaves who had run away to wilds of Spainish-owned Florida to seek refuge with the Seminoles. US troops led by Andrew Jackson rampaged through Florida attacking Seminole villages and capturing several Spanish settlements. The war convinced Spain to abandon Florida, which was sold to the United States in 1819.
The Second Seminole War (1835-1842) began when the US government secured a treaty from a small group of Seminoles who agreed to migrate to the Oklahoma Indian Territory in exchange for a small sum of money. However, most Seminoles refused to abandon their homes on a vast Florida reservation which had been promised to them in perpetuity. Ably led by their chief Osceola, the Seminoles retreated into the Everglades swamp and resisted the US Army with guerilla tactics. Osceola was captured in 1837 while negotiating under a flag of truce, and died a few months later in prison, but resistance continued. But in 1841, when General William J. Worth assumed command of US forces and initiated a brutal new strategy of systematically burning Seminole crops and villages, resistance finally wavered and a majority of Seminoles agreed to the forced emmigration. The eight year war cost the US Army 2,000 men and cost the US government approximately $40 million.
The Third Seminole War (1855-1858) was an attempt by the US Army to hunt down the last remaining Seminoles who had refused to emigrate and fled into the deepest swamps. This final conflict concluded with minimal bloodshed when the largest remaining Seminole band agreed to leave in return for a sum of money.