Tales of Angola

In this article the author spoke on the time of this colony known as Angola which was located in Southwestern part of Florida. It tells of how runaway slaves were in alliance with the Seminole Indians and Red Stick Creeks and as well as the major grudge Andrew Jackson had with them. During this time his number one goal was to destroy the post and forts that they were located in and return the blacks back to their slave owners. In my opinion this is a powerful article because it could have been easy for this group of people to lie down and surrender to Andrew Jackson and his army, but instead of doing that they decided to stay and fight back for what they believed in. It all started once the founding of Georgia in the early 1730s led to the initiative to strategically locate a free black town north of St. Augustine.

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They called this black town, Fort Mose, it existed for two years before until Georgians overwhelmed the site only to be repelled by a nighttime raid by Fort Mose’s black captain, Franciso Menendez. After that they rebuilt the colony until the possession of Florida was passed to Great Britian in 1763. Fort Mose seemed like the initial safe haven for blacks, but the government might have felt threatened by blacks having their own colony. As time passed Maroons and Seminole Indians relationship started to get better and the population of the Maroons started to rise. Once the Patriot War of 1812-1814 came along even the United States got a sense that they were going to be going against a formidable opponent. That battle led them to flee to modern day Polk County. This was the safest place to them because it was near the water and they were able to communicate with their allies in the Spanish and British empires. Times were only going to get worse for them because in 1818 news got to the United States and most importantly Andrew Jackson.

He already had a bone to pick with the Red Creek Foes for escaping him after fighting in 1812. In about 1818 Jackson led invasion into Florida Spanish to get back at all those who escaped him in 1812. In my opinion I feel like he wouldn’t have been satisfied until he burnt down all of Florida. This invasion resulted in the First Seminole War; those who survived and escaped went to Andros Island, Bahamas. In an interview in 1972, Jan Carew interviewed one descendant of the island and spoke on what her grandmother told her saying, “She tell me how the Old Ones used to talk ‘bout the look them white soliders faces when they see Black fighters looking like they grow outta the swamp grass and the hammocks, coming at them with guns and cutlass. Jackson get hurt at the Swannee man. The ancestors brutalized him there.”(10) Jackson was embarrassed that he wasn’t able to complete his mission again and it further fueled his rage.

Jackson was enraged that once he became the president in 1828 pushed a bill called, The Indian Removal Act. This act was put in place to remove all Maroons and Creeks out of Florida. I believe this kind of back fired because this pushed some of the Maroons and Creeks to resist and fight back against Jackson. These incidents started up the Second Seminole War in 1835. This passage told spoke of different groups of people coming together to fight back against what they thought were right during those times. Angola and Minatti (present day Manatee) were beacons of freedom for individuals and showed me that not only did White Americans not want Africans free, but wanted to completely remove Seminole Indians and Creeks out of Florida.

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