I Heard The Ghost Of Osceola Cry

August 21, 2016

I Heard The Ghost Of Osceola Cry

General Wiley Thompson, as an Indian agent, oversaw and helped coordinate the removal of the Seminole tribe from Florida. In written history, he's been sold as a friend of Osceola and the Seminole tribe, but he was nothing of the sort. Sure, it's sold that Wiley Thompson's "gift" to Osceola, a gun, was a peace offering. Given his reason to be there though, Thompson business there wasn't for peace, but for having the Seminoles put their guard down and willingly surrender to forced relocation.

Osceola had no such trust in Wiley Thompson and his military force's intent was. On December, 28th 1835, Osceola organized a party of Seminole and they attacked Wiley Thompson and his men, near Fort King, at this opportune time. Osceola and his men shot through the front door as Thompson and other military men were having a dinner party. Some of Thompson's men escaped but Wiley Thompson was hit numerous times and died. Osceola attacked out of retribution over being previously detained by Wiley Thompson.

In April of 1836, Osceola and some of his men attacked Fort Cooper. Later, in August, Major Benjamin Kendrick Pierce finds that Osceola has control of Fort Drane. Over these developments, General Jesup made the decision to make a plan to capture Osceola and his forces. This plan was created in December of 1836.

January 10th, 1837 General Jesup carried out a raid on a Seminole village where it was thought that Osceola was at. Numerous Seminoles were captured and a great number fled the area, possibly including Osceola himself. At the time, Osceola may have also been ill.

By Spring of 1837, General Jesup was making more gains. Gains which led to many clans to surrender themselves. Including some from Tuskinia, King Philip, Coa Hadjo, Sam Jones, Coacoochee, and even some of Osceola's people. This surrender causes General Jesup to incorrectly believe that the Second Seminole War was soon to end.
WILLIAMS(1837) Florida - OSEOLA (Osceola)
See page for author [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

In June, Osceola and Sam Jones and around 700 of their warriors attack a detention camp near Fort Brooke. The attack is successful, all of the supplies there are taken, and all detainees are released. The area is declared, by the military, to be a hostile area, yet again. Though this caused the Army to up its activities throughout the area.

By October, the 27th of 1837, Osceola and Coa Hadjo arrive with many of their people to Fort Mellon, with a flag of truce, for a pre-planned meeting. Instead of a meeting, they find out they were misled and are captured instead. Both leaders are sent to Fort Marion, at St. Augustine. In December, Osceola is sent to Fort Moultrie in South Carolina, along with other Seminoles. A move that was meant to break their spirit and that of Seminoles still in Florida trying to free Osceola and others.

By the end of January, Osceola is ill, from either quinsy or malaria, and succumbs to his illness on January 31st, 1838. Which was a little over three months after his capture. His last days were spent in detention at Fort Moultrie. The care he received, from Frederick Weedon, probably would've been little, given the medical knowledge of the day. After his death, Osceola was buried with full military honors at the fort.

The war still continued after Osceola's death and ended in 1858 with the Third Seminole War.

In the time since, Florida, of course, has become far more developed and damaged. It's said that the draining of the Everglades has caused increased wildfires in them. Development has also increased and turned parts of the Everglades into specialized farming regions. To protect interests, we're sold half-truths and lies that the increased wildfires are completely natural and that the draining of the Everglades hasn't caused an increase of fires.

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That's where the title of the post comes in. Some of you have probably already recognized it, a reference to the John Anderson song, Seminole Wind. The song does a good job of explaining these things, from a cultural perspective. Much like in other states, a lot of environmental damage has been done throughout Florida. Development that stems from the elitist view of 'taming' the land for the comforts of modernity. Something that has gone too far and has destroyed much of what's natural in Florida.

Sure, there's a lot of nature still left in Florida. But for how long? For how many more decades? All to appease the selfishness of upper middle class and the rich. Which, yes, are mainly well-off, white and modernly liberal. You can choose not to like the conservative, but at least the majority of them have no trouble with coexisting with nature and the natural world. As opposed to those that need their "safe spaces" in every aspect of their life. Having fear of the smallest things, even the smallest creatures out in the wild.

This is the type of thinking that needs to pushed out, the subcultural 'thought' that nature has to be diminished for the benefit of those with the $$ to push it away. Not realizing that the more they separate themselves away from nature, domesticating themselves, the more unnatural they become. It's time to tear this down, these limits, that keep us from nature. We need an increase of all of our freedoms. Nature comes first, including our own nature and spirit. Stay silent, quiet your minds, listen to these ghosts of days' past. Listen to their words in the winds.

They do speak; winds of change. Does the war still continue?