Keywords

Seminoles, seminole indians, native americans, american indians, frontier florida, third seminole war, seminole wars, indian wars, florida history

Abstract

This study examines in depth the most common interpretation of the opening of the Third Seminole War (1855-1858). The interpretation in question was authored almost thirty years after the beginning of the war, and it alleges that the destruction of a Seminole banana plant garden by United States soldiers was the direct cause of the conflict. This study analyzes the available primary records as well as traces the entire historiography of the Third Seminole War in order to ascertain how and why the banana garden account has had such an impactful and long-lasting effect. Based on available evidence, it is clear that the lack of fully contextualized primary records, combined with the failure of historians to deviate from or challenge previous scholarship, has led to a persistent reliance on the banana garden interpretation that continues to the present. Despite the highly questionable and problematic nature of this account, it has dominated the historiography on the topic and is found is almost every written source that addresses the beginning of the Third Seminole War. This thesis refutes the validity of the banana garden interpretation, and in addition, provides alternative explanations for the Florida Seminoles' decision to wage war against the United States during the 1850s.

Notes

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Graduation Date

2015

Semester

Spring

Advisor

Murphree, Daniel

Degree

Master of Arts (M.A.)

College

College of Arts and Humanities

Department

History

Degree Program

History; Public History

Format

application/pdf

Identifier

CFE0005710

URL

http://purl.fcla.edu/fcla/etd/CFE0005710

Language

English

Release Date

May 2015

Length of Campus-only Access

None

Access Status

Masters Thesis (Open Access)

Restricted to the UCF community until May 2015; it will then be open access.

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