Article Title

Indian Murders


Beside the road leading westward from St. Augustine to Picolata on the St. Johns River there is a permanent marker with this inscription: THEATRICAL TROUP KILLED BY INDIANS, MAY 23, 1840. Varying accounts of this attack suggested a search for a contemporaneous narrative, and this extract from the Florida Herald of St. Augustine, the issue of May 29, 1840, appears to be the most trustworthy of those found. General Churchill (in Sketch of the Life of Bvt. Brig. Gen. Sylvester Churchill, New York, 1888, p. 45) states that he passed the party of actors shortly before they were ambushed, but was himself accompanied by a guard; also, that Coachoochee (Wild-Cat) stated to him that he with his band made that attack. In the following year when Coachoochee with professions of friendship and accompanied by seven of his warriors came into the camp of Col. Worth for a talk, the Indians were fantastically decked out in the costumes of the actors’ plundered wardrobes., (See Sprague, The Origin, Progress, and Conclusion of the Florida War, New York, 1848, p. 259.)