Sante Fe River in Florida
NILES NATIONAL REGISTER- August 18, 1838
Correspondence N. Y. American
Camp in E. Florida, July 19th 1838
Sir: Unfortunate Florida has again become the scene of those
perilous excitements, by which, for so long a period, her citizens
have been agitated. It would seem that the Seminoles, in
whatever degree diminished in number, or humbled in pride are
far from being conquered. The citizens in the vicinity of the Santa
Fee and Suwanee are under the necessity of abandoning their
crops and retiring to the forts, or incurring the imminent risk of
being murdered on their plantations. The son of a Mr. GWINN
came recently into camp saying, that the Indians had attacked his
father's house, and he had "left father fighting them." Capt. Dade
with his company of the 2nd dragoons, immediately galloped to
the spot, which was but a few miles above, on the bank of the
Sante Fee; but on arriving there, the warfare, such as it had been
was over. The house was deserted. A trail of blood leading from
the yard to a neighboring field, was pursued, and, after passing
over a fence, the father was discovered lying a few paces beyond.
This fence he must have climbed after he was wounded, as the
marks of blood upon it corresponded with two wounds which he
had received in each thigh. The Indians evidently pursued him to
the fence, and from there fired on him again, since, from the nature
of a third and fatal wound, he must have fallen upon the spot
where it was received.
On examining the premises further, the lifeless and disfigured
remains of Mrs. GWINN were discovered contiguous to those of
her husband. She was not scalped, but was made the victim of a
curelty deeper and more refined. The wretches had dashed out
the brains of her infant, and placed the mangled innocent in its
mother's arms. There she lay the murdered mother, fondling with
the icy embrace of death her murdered child.
The remains of these unfortunate victims of savage cruelty were
hastily collected and deposited in a common grave.
This report is believed to be about Elijah O'QUIN and his family, not GWINN. It is
known that Elijah and his family lived in the area and were killed by Indians. The
boy who escaped is believed to be James Bates O'QUIN. He told this story many
times to his family members. James was taken in by a family named BATES, hince
he changed his middle name to BATES in honor of them, or so the story goes.
Back to UNDER THE MAGNOLIA TREE