Justin Iverson


In September 1812, a "large body of Negroes and Indians" ambushed the provision lines of two companies of militiamen under the command of Lieutenant Colonel Thomas Adams Smith in northern East Florida. The "merciless negroes" attacked the Georgia soldiers to drive them out of East Florida and prevent further American expansion into the Spanish colony during the Patriot War of 1812 to 1814. Black and Seminole soldiers also attacked Colonel David Newnan, Adjutant General of the Georgia militia, when he came to Smith's aid. Many black warriors living in the area fought for survival since they were runaway plantation slaves from Georgia who had found refuge in Spanish Florida from American chattel slavery. They knew that if the Patriots, some of whom may have been their former enslavers, took control of East Florida that they would be returned to the harsh life of plantation slavery.

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