The Florida Squadron, based on Key Biscayne and Indian Key during the Second Seminole War, was a small but highly effective naval group whose part in bringing hostilities to a close has remained in relative obscurity for over a century. Furthermore, the youthful and courageous commander of this squadron, Lieutenant John T. McLaughlin, has been relegated to the fine print of an occasional footnote. The sparse and very brief paragraphs allotted to him all too frequently concentrate on his fiscal extravagances and his drinking excesses, with dark intimations of corruption and cruelty. The paragraphs which follow are designed to bring to light the conclusions reached by the Congressional Committee on Public Expenditures and by the Naval Court of Inquiry of 1846, agencies officially charged with the responsibility of either exonerating or condemning Lieutenant McLaughlin for the manner in which he performed his duties during the years 1838-1842.
Weidenbach, Nell L.
"Lieutenant John T. McLaughlin: Guilty or Innocent?,"
Florida Historical Quarterly: Vol. 46
, Article 8.
Available at: https://stars.library.ucf.edu/fhq/vol46/iss1/8