[Two Autograph Letters, Signed, from Frontier Florida, One Relating News of Hunting Native Americans During the Second Seminole War]. Florida, George Winslow.

[Two Autograph Letters, Signed, from Frontier Florida, One Relating News of Hunting Native Americans During the Second Seminole War]

Apalachicola, Fl. April 8 and June 21, 1840. [1],[1]pp., the first with an integral blank addressed in manuscript and with Apalachicola postal stamp. Original folds, minor toning and soiling. Very good. Item #2632

A pair of letters written by George Winslow while working in Florida during the latter years of the Second Seminole War, the first of which describes fighting Native Americans during the Second Seminole War. George Winslow (1808-1841) was the son of a Massachusetts sea captain. At age 32, he sailed for the Florida Territory to begin a job in a merchant house at Apalachicola, then a burgeoning village in the process of becoming one of the busiest ports in the Gulf of Mexico.

At the time Winslow wrote the present letters, the Seminole Indians and the American settlers in Florida were in the fifth year of their second war with each other. Winslow writes home on April 8, reporting that Native Americans attacked a mail stage holding a theatrical troupe and a group of soldiers, killing seven people. The U.S. Army then grew more aggressive in "hunting" the elusive, hostile Seminoles using a pack of Cuban bloodhounds. The dogs did not, however, prove very useful and one army hunting party - perhaps the one Winslow describes in his letter - had six of their own men killed. Winslow returned to New England in the summer of the same year he wrote both of the present letters, though he might have been just as safe had he remained in Florida. The following year, Winslow drowned in Long Island Sound.

In his first letter, Winslow describes business conditions in Florida and references the hunting parties, as follows: "Our business has been fair since the rise of the river which continues to be in good boating order but we have quite a large lot of recurrent stock now on hand to dispose of woolen clothing is quite unsalable and has been for sometime past the weather has been very warm for 6 or 7 weeks past we have had new potatoes for two weeks blackberries are ripe and many other kinds of fruits vegetables too numerous to mention we fair like heroes on fish and oysters but no change from that.... for the present the Indians have committed depredations quite near us they murdered two families a short distance up the River and have been seen acrost the bay, a company went from this place to hunt for them. I do not think I shall go to hunt Indians until our Governor makes the demand, as I did not ship to fight Indians." In his second letter, Winslow write again to his sister regarding home front business matters. A brief but unique firsthand record of Florida with Second Seminole War content.

Price: $1,250.00