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AMERICAN MASSACRE RECALLED

Recalling one of the starkest incidents in America's history of the eventually successful efforts of white settlers to conquer the Indians, Floridians recently observed at Dade Memorial Park, near Bushnell, the 100 th anniversary of the Dade massacre, which cost the lives of Major Francis L. Dade and his company of ■ 103 men, states the "New York Times."

There were three memorable cases of wholesale slaughter in American history. The Dade massacre occurred three months before the tragedy of the Alamo at San Antonio, Texas, and forty-one years before the Custer massacre.

Dade Memorial Park, an eighty-acre tract upon which are many Huge mosscovered oaks, was ■ purchased' by Act of the Florida Legislature in 1921, and appropriations have been made on several occasions to improve the site.

Besides being a memorial to Major Dade and his men, the park also takes notice of Chief Micanopy and Osceola. A portrait of the chief hangs in Tustenuggee Lodge and. there is a statue, of Osceola nearby. There are also simple monuments to the ill-fated soldiers and a reproduction of the crude log breastworks they hastily erected after the first devastating Seminole attack.

The park is only a few miles from Dade's Breakfast Pond,'a point near the Withlacoochee Kiver, where Major Dade and his company had breakfast before resuming their march in the direction of Fort King', six miles from Ocala, where General Wiley Thompson was greatly in n.eed of aid. Major Dade had. led his company

■from Fort Brooke at Tampa. Although they knew they were in dangerous territory, they were wholly unprepared for the volley which the Seminoles fired from behind trees and palmetto bushes when an Indian named Jumper gave the war whoop.- The first-shot. fired by Chief Micanopy, killed Major Dade and began the second Seminole war. ■■'.■!

The first volley killed more than half the soldiers. The remainder scarcely had time to set up the scant fort when the Indians made a second attack , a few minutes later. Indians and their negro slaves leaped into the enclosure and killed dying men as they prayed for mercy. One soldier seized a gun and killed an Indian with a blow on the head, but was shot down as he ran away.

On the same day of the Dade massacre, Osceola, one of the most intrepid and cunning of Seminole leaders, fired from ambush and killed General Thompson and Lieutenant ■ Constantine Smith while they were out for an after-dinner stroll within sight of Fort King. General Thompson was shot in revenge for returning a. runaway slave girl, who was one of Osceola's wives, to her owner. Osceola and his band of twenty warriors proceeded to the scene of the Dade massacre. Reaching there by nightfall, they joined the other Seminoles in a drunken orgy celebrating their victories. .

Historians are of the opinion that Major Dade and his men were betrayed by Louis Pacheo, a negro slave owned by Tampa Spaniards, who was taken along as a guide.

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Permanent link to this item

https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/EP19360222.2.195.10

Bibliographic details

AMERICAN MASSACRE RECALLED, Evening Post, Issue 45, 22 February 1936

Word Count
498

AMERICAN MASSACRE RECALLED Evening Post, Issue 45, 22 February 1936

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