1819   --  the Spanish king refused to sign the Florida treaty of cession drawn in Washington, D.C. by American and Spanish diplomats.  Andrew Jackson invaded with his forces to convince the Spanish that they should sign and get out. 

1821 --   the treaty of cession was signed on March 23. Florida became an American possession.

Territorial Period

1820 --  twenty-one Spanish subjects petitioned unsuccessfully for a municipal government at the Cowford on October 24.

1822   --  the town on the north side of the Cowford was laid out and named for General Jackson in June. Duval County created by the Legislative Council on August 12. Named for William P. DuVal, Florida's first territorial governor.

1821-1822  --  Territorial Governor Andrew Jackson.

Jackson was going to refuse the offer of the governance of Florida for his wife Rachel considered a stay in Florida "repugnant," and he had so informed Monroe and Calhoun. (Renee :400)

His friends convinced him to take the assignment. He did so but only provided that the President permit him to resign as soon as the territorial government was organized and in full operation.

1822-1834 Governor William P. Duval

Second Seminole War, 1835-1842

In May 1832 a group of chiefs were gathered together, by threats and promises, at Payne's Landing on the Ocklawaha River to sign a newer treaty. This promised them an equal amount of land in Arkansas. They were to hand over their blacks, whom they refused to give up. Only fifteen of the chiefs were induced to sign the Payne's Landing Treaty, including old Billy Bowlegs, or Bolek, Alligator from Tampa Bay, Jumper, and Charley Emathla. A young man, named Osceola whose grandfather was a Scotsman, was present.

The Treaty of Payne's Landing in 1832 was still another fraudulent affair. The treaty was bad enough in itself, but the government added a verbal codicil which said that no Seminole who had Negro blood would be allowed go Oklahoma, but must stay and be sold into slavery. For hundreds of Seminole families, that meant dissolution and a living death.

1834-1836 --  Territorial Governor John H. Easton

The whites decided they wanted the removal of every last Indian in Florida in three lots, in 1834, 1835, and 1836. General Thompson called a meeting for April 1835 to get assent from the Indians. It was at this meeting that Osceola took out a knife and stabbed it into the table through the agreement, proclaiming "That is the way I sing."

The Indians did not total even 4,000 people. General Clinch was sent with 700 regulars to enforce the removal of the Indians. So began the Second Seminole War. General Thompson himself was the first man to die. He and another officer were shot and scalped by Seminoles under the leadership of Osceola, while they were walking about a mile beyond Fort King, in December 1835.

Sixteen plantations in east Florida were destroyed in January.  The website dealing with the history of Volusia County ( informs us that

"During the winter of 1835-36, the citizens of St. Augustine watched in dismay as clouds of billowing smoke drifted towards the city from the south. Except for the slave quarters, all of the plantations along the Halifax and Tomoka Rivers were burned to the ground by the Seminole Indians. Efforts to save the plantations were futile. The people of St. Augustine provided refuge for an exodus of plantation inhabitants. Within one month, the thriving plantations from Pellicer Creek to Cape Canaveral were reduced to ruin. The heyday of sugar was over, and it was never fully reestablished as an important crop in Northeastern Florida."

In September 1837 General Joseph M. Hernandez captured a band of 21 Indians. They imprisoned, at St. Augustine, King Philip and his son Coacoochee. General Jesup let Coacoochee out to take a message to Osceola, to come in with captive blacks to arrange for King Philip's release. Under a flag of truce Osceola came with 74 black prisoners, and they were all seized. Osceola was sent to prison in St. Augustine (Castillo de San Marcos). He was later transferred to prison at Fort Moultrie, South Carolina. Osceola died there and was buried under a stone on which was carved "Patriot and Warrior."

Fort Cooper State Park

3100 S. Old Floral City Road


South of Inverness is Fort Cooper State Park, which was a post during the Seminal Indian War in the 1830's. Those interested in historic architecture must visit the city of Inverness with its restored courthouse, built in 1912.

Two miles southeast of Inverness on Old Floral City Road and the Withlacoochee Trail, Ft. Cooper State Park offers visitors fishing, swimming, canoeing, boating, nature study programs and horseback riding opportunities. Primitive camp sites with corral facilities are also available. An important outpost during the Second Seminole War (1836-1842), Ft. Cooper Park staff offer interpretative programs throughout the year. A re-enactment of a Second Seminole War battle is staged annually during a March weekend.


Located south of Bushnell, the exit off I-75 is clearly marked; take the Bushnell exist and follow S.R. 48 east, watching for signs.


The Battle of Black Point was fought on the south rim of Paynes Prairie. Dec 18, 1835 -- first skirmish of the Second Seminole War.

On December 28, 1835, troops under Major Francis L. Dade on their way to the reinforcement of Fort King were ambushed. The attack had been planned by Osceola, Jumper and Alligator.  Major Dade was killed along with almost all of his 110 men.  The Dade Massacre ignited the whole wrath of the American nation.

At the visitor center there are artifacts and exhibits about the battle.  A walking trail leads to a reconstrucltion of the log barricade that the soldier used in their defense.  There are also monuments to Dade and some of his officers where they fell in battle. 


From Jacksonville head to St. Augustine and pick up Highway A1A heading south.  Turn right onto SR 100 (Moody Boulevard).  Then, approaching a shopping center and an exit/entrance for US 95, turn left onto Old Kings Road.  Look for the small sign for Bulow Plantation on the right and make a left turn onto a dirt road.  This road takes you for a while to a place where you self-pay an entrance fee.


In the early 1800s two men founded plantations at the head of the Halifax River.  Captain James Ormond (a retired Scottish mariner) established his Damietta Plantation at which he grew cotton and indigo.  His neighbor Major Charles W. Bulow established his Bulowville Plantation.

Here was the largest sugarmill in Florida from 1821 to 1836.  In 1821 Major Charles Wilhelm Bulow acquired 4,675 acres of land bordering a tidal creek now known as Bulow Creek.  With slave labor he cleared 2,200 acres and planted sugar cane, cotton, rice, and indigo.  He built the largest and wealthiest plantation in east Florida.  

Soon after the plantation was finished, Major Bulow died at the age of 44.  His son, John, took over.  He increased production and the plantation prospered.

At the end of 1831, John James Audubon embarked here with his host on an expedition in search of new Florida birds. Audubon spoke of Bulow as a rich planter at whose plantation he received most hospitable treatment.

The Kings Road went from St Augustine to New Smyrna.  It was the only road available.

Osceola and the treaty of Fort Gibson.  Coachoochee, or Wildcat, was Osceola's "partner." J.J. Bulow was very friendly with this man, and his father, Philip.  Their people provided fresh meat for Bulowville.  

John Bulow did not agree with the U.S. government's intention to send the Seminoles to reservations west of the Mississippi River.  He ordered a four-pound cannon to be fired at Major Putnam's command of State Militia (the "Mosquito Roarers") as they entered his property.  Troops swarmed onto the plantation, taking Bulow prisoner.  

After a brief unsuccessful campaign against the Indians and with most of the troops ill with dysentery and yellow fever, Major Putnam's command relocated to St. Augustine.  Realizing that the Indians were becoming more hostile, young Bulow, along with other settlers and their slaves, abandoned the plantation and followed the troops northward.  

Around January 31, 1836, the Seminoles burned this plantation and others in the area.  John Bulow, discouraged by the destruction, went to Paris where he died three months later at the age of 26.  

There was a sugar mill here that was 119 feet by 93 feet.  There was also a self-sufficient community.  Slaves had land to raise food for their families, with such crops as potatoes, squash, corn, melons, sweet potatoes, and citrus.  The plantation had a few milk cows, chickens, and pigs.

Sugar cane was planted in January and February and was ready for harvesting by mid-October.  Field workers cut the cane and loaded it onto the mill for processing.  

There was a boiler and machinery room.  A well supplied water for the boiler that produced steam to operate the mill's cane-crushing machinery.   A large, long boiler and furnace filled the right half of the room.  The engine operated the rollers to crush the cane. (A sawmill 18 feet beyond this sign was run by the same steam engine as the sugar mill.)

Cane was placed on a conveyor belt, that was 3 feet wide, started here and lifted the cane to the roller crushers on the second floor.  The juice ran into settling vats below.  

Kettles and Operation.  The juice flowed from the settling vats on the second floor into the "grande" kettle, the largest of five kettles built into the furnace below.  This was the coolest of the kettles because it was the farthest away from the "batterie" kettle under which the furnace was fixed.  The heated juice was hand-dipped from kettle to kettle.  It ended in a syrup in the fifth kettle, the batterie, the smallest and hottest kettle.  

It was ladled into a trough and flowed into large wooden cooling vats to harden.  After hardening it was spaded into slices, carried in small tubs to the "purgery" in the curing room and packed into hogsheads (wooden barrels).    

The curing room "purgery."  Hogsheads were kept in this warm curing room for 20-30 days until the molasses had dripped from the sugar into a cistern located in the recess beneath.  Molasses were sold to make rum.  The partly-emptied hogsheads were then refilled with sugar and stored.  

Storing and Loading.  The hogsheads were stored on the floor above this room and lowered through an opening onto wagons below.  Wagons left through these archways to a landing for shipment by boat to Jacksonville, St. Augustine, and Savannah.  

Bulow's flats, or barges, hauled the plantation's produce, particularly sugar, molasses and cotton down the creek to the Halifax River, and then south to Mosquito inlet (now Ponce Inlet) where it was carried by schooners to the east coast and Caribbean ports.  

In spring the manatees return when the water warms to 70 degrees Fahrenheit.  

The plantation was destroyed in the Second Seminole War.

There is a nature trail to the spring house.  

James Ormond Park and Ormond Plantation  (Volusia County)


Exiting from the Bulow Plantation, turn left and travel 1.9 miles to the Old Dixie Highway, Turn left onto this road and travel 1.8 miles past Bulow Creek State Park to the James Ormond Park, on the right.

Near this site lies the tomb of James Ormond II.  James Ormond and his father, a Scot, who immigrated to Florida via the Bahamas about 1804.  He made "Damietta," the family plantation, one of the most productive in the Halifax region.  

Captain James Ormond I received a land grant in 1807 for a large parcel that is now part of today's Bulow Creek State Park. A runaway slave shot and killed Ormond I, cutting short Ormond's plans for his plantation. The Ormond family returned to Scotland, but in 1820 James Ormond II returned and took over the operation of the plantation.

For a time James Ormond III  lived on the Bulow plantation, where he learned new methods of plantation management. James II died in 1829 and the family plantation was abandoned.  James III later joined the militia and during the Second Seminole War he served under his old friend and neighbor, Douglas Dummett.

During the Second Seminole War, the Indians attacked the Ponce de Leon Inlet Lighthouse, smashing all the glass in the lantern and setting fire to the wooden stairs.  The leader of the raid, Coacoocheee, took off with the lamp reflectors. 

In early January 1836, the Seminoles burned the Bulowville Plantation and Damietta.   James Ormond commanded a platoon of the "mosquito rangers."  On January 17 he and his troops fought  the Battle of Dunlawton which the Seminoles won. Coacoocheee wore one of the lighthouse lamp reflectors as a headdress during the battle.

Ormond Beach is named for the Ormond family.  

The Ormond Plantation was once a complex of 12 buildings.  Nothing remains of the site, but you can still enjoy a visit to the site.  Ormond Plantation Site is 4.5 miles north of the Tomoka State Park entrance on Old Dixie Highway, about two miles on the right. No fee, facilities, picnicking.


2 miles west of US 1, south off Fl 44.

The brothers John and James Anderson owned the Dunlawton Plantation. During the Second Seminole War, the brothers were part of the Mosquito Roarers militia from St. Augustine.

Their sugar mill plantation was destroyed by King Philip and his son Coacoochee (Wildcat) at the beginning of the Second Seminole War.  When the Anderson brothers returned with the militia to retrieve what was left of their plantation (belongings, cattle, and equipment) they found the Indians occupying the place.

As mentioned above, a skirmish called the Battle of Dunlawton ensued.  The Indians defeated the militia and forced them away.

The mill was rebuilt and operated during the Civil War as Confederate salt works.

Construction of the mill began in 1830; it was made of coquina, a native rock made of shells and sand. Today, all that remains is a walking beam from a steam engine and cooking pots. Nature trails.

(Source: of the  website "Tour of the Florida Territory during the Seminole (Florida) Wars, 1792-1859.")



The remains of Fort McCrea (in the area of Tomoka State Park) are known as the Addison Blockhouse.   The blockhouse, manned by South Carolina militia men, was made to guard the Carrickfergus plantation.

A skirmish occurred in early 1836 and when the militia men barely survived they soon abandoned the fort. 

The old blockhouse can be visited, but one has to bushwhack through the woods a bit.

(Source: of the  website "Tour of the Florida Territory during the Seminole (Florida) Wars, 1792-1859.")

2 miles north of SR 50 on CR 420 (Fort Christmas Road).

This museum is a reconstruction of a fort begun December 25, 1837, during the Second Seminole Indian War. Two blockhouses contain exhibits and audiovisual displays on the Seminole Indian Wars and the pioneers who settled here after hostilities ended. Numerous picnicking and recreation facilities are available. Guided Tours Tues-Sat 10-5, Sun 1-5; for building closed holidays. Free.

1836-1839  --  Territorial Governor Richard Keith Call

1839-1841   --  Territorial Governor Robert Raymond Reid

1841-1844   --  Territorial Governor Richard Keith Call

The Secretary of War appointed, in the spring of 1841, an officer who had been on the scene in Florida since 1838. He was General William J. Worth, the son of Quaker parents, who had served with distinction in the War of 1812, acted as Commandant at West Point and won his general's commission in an earlier victorious skirmish against the Seminoles.

Worth invented a new strategy and developed the war by attrition. During the summer of 1841 he began such a campaign, systematically destroying crops, shelter and every source of supply on which they might depend.

In the fall, as winter drew on, Worth's policy of attrition bore its bitter fruit. Slowly the Seminoles began to drift in from the swamps, hungry and homeless, proud but driven to the outer limits of their endurance and bravery.

The war dragged on from April 1836 to February 1842. Upon this defiant tribe the government had spent $20,000,000 and employed more than 30,000 troops, including nearly all the regular Army, more than half the Marines and a quantity of Navy ships and transports. The American casualties had been 1,466 killed, including 215 officers. 

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