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Seminole War

Seminole War, in U.S. history, armed conflict between the U.S. government and the Seminoles. In 1832 the U.S. government signed a treaty with the Seminoles, who lived in Florida, providing for their removal to Oklahoma in 1835 in exchange for a small sum of money. However, opposition to the treaty soon appeared among the Seminoles; under the leadership of the young chief, Osceola, the Seminoles organized small raiding parties that attacked the American troops. The U.S. army was rendered helpless by the raiding tactics of the Native Americans and suffered heavy casualties. Although Osceola was captured in 1837 and died in prison a few months later, resistance continued. When Gen. William J. Worth became (1841) commander of U.S. forces, a new strategy was adopted. The Seminole's crops were systematically burned and their villages destroyed. As winter approached and starvation was imminent, the Seminoles surrendered. A peace treaty was signed in 1842 and the Native Americans were removed westward. The war resulted in 1,500 U.S. soldiers killed, and cost more than $20 million.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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