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Fort Brooke

House and oak tree in Tampa, Fla.

House and oak tree in Tampa, Fla., [1898?].

A peaceful attempt to resolve the growing Indian conflict came in 1832 with the Treaty of Payne’s Landing. This treaty promised land west of the Mississippi to the Indians that agreed to voluntarily leave and migrate west in 3 years time. Not all of the Indians relished the thought of giving up their lands and many stayed behind preparing for confrontation.

With the white settlers constantly applying pressure on the government to remove the threat of the remaining Indians, the US military arrived to enforce the treaty in 1835. This caused tensions to rise and reached a breaking point when a company of over a hundred soldiers marching from Fort Brooke in present day Tampa to Fort King in present day Ocala was ambushed by Seminole warriors.

Only 3 men were reported to have survived and this became known as the Dade Massacre. This started the Second Seminole war lasting from 1835 to 1842. The end of this conflict resulted in upwards of 20 million dollars spent by the United States government, many military and civilian casualties and the exile of all but a small amount of Seminoles who took refuge in the wetlands of the Everglades.