There was no one basic cause of the Second Seminole War which began in Florida in December 1835. Major General T. S. Jesup, a regular army officer who served in Florida during the war, said that the Indian attacks were primarily the result of white efforts to secure Negroes held by the Seminoles. Senator Thomas Hart Benton of Missouri believed the oppressive and intriguing nature of federal Indian supervision was to blame. Major General Edmund Pendleton Gaines, who served briefly in Florida early in 1836, thought that the Florida conflict was an example of border warfare. Mrs. Ellen Call Long, daughter of Florida Territorial Governor Richard Keith Call, felt that the settlers were partly to blame for stirring up the Indians. Colonel John Sprague, recognized contemporay authority on the Seminole War, believed that the cause rested in the three United States-Seminole treaties, each of which was designed to remove the red men from the advancing white frontier. Mark F. Boyd, prominent Florida historian of the twentieth century, supports Sprague’s thesis. Woodburne Potter, a South Carolina volunteer militiaman who served in Florida, said that he thought an initial strong show of force by the regular army would have cowed the Seminoles from making further attacks on white settlements.
Bittle, George C.
"First Campaign of the Second Seminole War,"
Florida Historical Quarterly: Vol. 46
, Article 7.
Available at: https://stars.library.ucf.edu/fhq/vol46/iss1/7