Like many Seminole, Osceola was mixed race, son of a Welsh trader and a Creek mother. He became leader of opposition to the Treaty of Payne’s Landing (1832), by which the Seminole were deemed to have exchanged their Florida homelands for territory in the West. In 1835, he ambushed and killed Wiley Thompson, the agent organizing the Seminole deportation, while a war party ambushed a contingent of US troops in the ‘Dade Massacre’, events that triggered the Second Seminole War. The Seminole laid waste to plantations and besieged forts, repulsing the efforts of a succession of US generals to dislodge them. Osceola was taken captive in late 1837, and died soon afterwards, but the war continued under other leaders, such as John Horse, Halleck Tuskenuggee and Chakaika. At Okeechobee and Lockahatchee, the Seminole matched US army opposition. At war’s end (1842), Seminole diehards still held out in the Everglades.
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