From: Richard White <rw(a)pone.com>
Subject: [FLORIDA] Re: [FHStoday] TODAY IN FLORIDA HISTORY FOR APRIL 26
I have questions about two of the entries for 26 April, and I hope
that they do not end up being rhetorical.
Nick Wynne wrote:
TODAY IN FLORIDA HISTORY
TODAY IS CONFEDERATE MEMORIAL DAY, AN OFFICIAL HOLIDAY FOR
THE >STATE OF FLORIDA.
1818 Major General Andrew Jackson convened a court martial today for two
British subjects in West Florida, Alexander Arbuthnot and Robert C.
Armbrister. >The two men were charged with inciting the Creek
Indians against the United States. >The two men were found guilty
and put to death. The action was controversial and >stirred up a
great deal of diplomatic upheaval between the United States and
This is a well-known incident. Functioning from memory alone, it
seems that I recall that these men were employees of John Forbes &
Company, which was actually a continuation of Panton Leslie & Company
which had been trading with the Creeks from St. Marks for quite some
time. I've been doing some reading in the general vein of Creek
history recently, and note that early U.S. Indian policy formulated
by George Washington was to put trade goods into the Indian lands at
a low cost to try to dry up other sources. This hurt Panton
Lesie/Forbes business, as did robbery of the store by
Creeks/Seminoles led by William Augustus Bowles in 1792 and 1800.
The Creek Confederacy was apparently held responsible for the
maverick Bowles' actions, and to settle debts from trade and his
robberies, the Creek chiefs met with a representative of Forbes at
Prospect Bluff on the Apalachicola River in 1804... and in Alabama in
1810... where they sold what are now two whole Florida counties and
parts of three others to John Forbes & Co., that being the "Forbes
Purchase". As a part of the deal, the chiefs insisted that Forbes
open a store at Prospect Bluff, which he did. Fort Woodbine/the
Negro Fort/Fort Blount/Fort Gadsden were later built at or near that
site. That's all background for my questions, which are: Why did the
store at St. Marks continue in business.. and when did the Prospect
Bluff store cease to exist? In general, are there any historical
accounts that thoroughly cover the commercial transactions with the
Creeks? If so, what are they...? <G>
1861 Colonel George T. Ward was elected a delegate to the
today by the Florida Convention. He replaced Colonel James P. Anderson, who
assumed his duties with the 1st Florida Infantry regiment.
George T. Ward was the commander of the 2d Florida Infantry Regiment
and was Florida's first prominent casualty in the war. He had led
the fight AGAINST secession at Florida's Secession Convention. He
was a proponent of coastal defenses in Florida, and the former
Spanish Fort San Marcos de Apalachee at St. Marks, the only
Confederate fortification in Florida that was maintained throughout
the war, after
being reconstructed by the Confederates, was named for him. The
volume of Confederate History shows him serving in the Confederate
Congress through the entire war, though. Were there two George T.
Wards who are confounded in historical accounts, or does this
represent a major faux pas in the Confederate History?