Turning Sufferers into Settlers Western University

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Turning Sufferers into Settlers Gender that both men and women bene tted from all of Bruce Dorsey Reforming Men and Women Gen der in the Antebellum


490 JOURNAL OF THE EARLY REPUBLIC Summer 2013, white settlers in Florida Congress passed a resolution to Aid the Suffer. ing and Indigent Inhabitants of Florida on February 1 1836 Under. this policy the U S Army distributed food to hundreds of individuals. whom they considered eligible for aid As that program became too. expensive and counter to the goal of populating the frontier with white. families policy shifted in the summer of 1841 to require whites to return. to the Florida frontier as members of families if they wanted to con. tinue to receive rations Federal assistance changed again in 1842 when. Congress passed the Armed Occupation Act under which white. household heads received free public land rather than food a policy. aimed at creating permanent settlements of white male headed family. farms throughout Florida 2, Over the course of six years leaders used ideas about femininity and. masculinity the social norms that Americans used to construct gender. difference to build support for these policies Initially they relied on. women s feminine dependence to justify a rations policy as chivalrous. charity Subsequently leaders exploited armed men s masculine inde. pendence to rationalize free land programs as the most effective way to. permanently install white settler families throughout Florida As recipi. ents of federal aid changed from suffering inhabitants to armed set. tlers between 1836 and 1842 each aid program aimed to restore. women and men to their proper roles which policymakers assumed. would settle the frontier As this shift indicates gender is not a synonym. for women in this story although the essay will pay special attention to. women Policymakers used ideas about men s and women s ideal roles. to naturalize and justify federal spending in Florida Gender made it. possible for them to debate policies aimed at ending the Second Semi. nole War as if those policies were federal social provision for the benefit. of deserving white Americans Gender allowed American leaders to. begin a welfare program for war victims and subsequently change it into. a policy of land entitlements for deserving settlers 3. 2 Resolution Authorizing the President to Furnish Rations to Certain Inhabi. tants of Florida Feb 1 1836 reprinted in Public Statutes at Large of the USA. Boston 1850 131, 3 Feminist historian Joan Scott defines gender as a constitutive element of. social relationships based on perceived differences between the sexes as well as. a primary way of signifying relationships of power Joan Scott Gender A. Useful Category of Historical Analysis American Historical Review 91 Dec. 1986 1053 75 quote on 1067,18437 CH4 05 07 13 14 11 57 PS PAGE 490. Shire TURNING SUFFERERS INTO SETTLERS 491, The 1836 Suffering Inhabitants policy became law in the first few.
months of the Second Seminole War the costliest Indian war the United. States ever fought Spain relinquished Florida to the United States in 1821. and in the early 1830s Americans began to exert pressure on the Seminoles. to leave Florida By late 1835 conflicts between whites and Indians in. Florida had escalated into a guerilla war which lasted until 1842 Home. steads and therefore women and children were on the front lines Ameri. cans viewed Seminole attacks on families and property as savage and. barbaric in spite of the fact that American forces resorted to similar. strategies The U S Army attacked Seminole villages where they killed. and captured people and burned homes goods and fields The Semi. noles retaliated by bringing the fight to white settlers while evading Ameri. can troops Many white settlers fearful of Indian depredations as. Americans termed them fled to other states or to military garrisons 4. This was not the first conflict in which American leaders combined. military land and social policies in support of territorial expansion. Generous land policies for veterans pre emption rights for squatters. and distribution and graduation schemes all happened before or concur. rent with the policies in Florida discussed here Laura Jensen argues that. beginning in the early republic entitlements such as land grants and. veteran pensions enabled and largely accomplished the geographical. expansion of the country through military and civilian conquest Jensen. contends that social provision in the United States was rarely about need. but was usually about drafting citizens into service toward national goals. This study supports Jensen s case but argues that gender should not be. overlooked in the history of welfare and expansion The desire to sup. port independent men and help dependent women shaped the debates. content and implementation of expansionist policies Gendered ratio. nales for expansionist welfare policies appeared so natural however that. one can easily fail to see them For example one might assume that all. the suffering inhabitants were female or that as Jensen assumes all. armed occupiers were men After all women rarely appear as signifi. cant actors in territorial conquest they are usually the victims or help. meets And Americans typically have not classified men whether settlers. 4 Joe Knetsch Florida s Seminole Wars 1817 1858 Charleston SC 2003. John K Mahon History of the Second Seminole War 1835 1842 Gainesville. FL 1967 2nd ed 1985 John Missall and Mary Lou Missall The Seminole Wars. America s Longest Indian Conflict Gainesville FL 2004. 18437 CH4 05 07 13 14 11 58 PS PAGE 491,492 JOURNAL OF THE EARLY REPUBLIC Summer 2013. veterans firefighters or civil servants as welfare recipients even. though the benefits granted to such men were arguably a form of social. provision This study of a short period on a specific frontier reveals. however that both men and women benefitted from all of these policies. and furthermore that military policies aimed at supporting male settlers. included social provision and that aid programs aimed at women were. part of a larger military strategy of conquest 5, These assumptions arise from the ways that gender has shaped. notions of independence and dependence concepts that had both gen. dered and racial connotations in early America The antebellum social. order across regional variations presumed that white men were inde. pendent chivalrous and responsible for the well being of depen. dents women children servants and slaves Those dependents. especially women and the servants and slaves they supervised were. charged with creating domestic spaces that nurtured their families Since. the policies enacted in Florida in the period discussed here were aimed. at providing for widowed and orphaned dependents and supporting the. settlement of white families many of them slave owners the household. social order was central to the framework policymakers used 6. Although in some ways women were limited by antebellum gender. ideology women s roles also expanded due to their presumed ability to. create proper domesticity especially on a violent frontier In Florida. white women played important roles as wives mistresses of slaves. domesticators of new territory and mothers of what would be the first. generation of Americans born in Florida Nineteenth century domestic. ideology did not confine women to the private sphere rather gender. operated as a way for politicians and military leaders to recognize women. 5 Laura Jensen assumes that only men applied for and received Armed Occu. pation Act AOA land in Patriots Settlers and the Origins of American Social. Policy New York 2003 181 Susan Sterett notes that beginning in the mid. nineteenth century Americans framed entitlements granted to men as benefits. given to deserving citizens and those granted to women as charity for the indigent. and dependent Sterett Public Pensions Gender and Civic Service in the States. Ithaca NY 2002, 6 Amy Greenberg Manifest Manhood and the Antebellum American Empire. New York 2005 Joan Cashin A Family Venture Men and Women on the South. ern Frontier New York 1991 Bruce Dorsey Reforming Men and Women Gen. der in the Antebellum City Ithaca NY 2002 Stephanie McCurry Masters of. Small Worlds Yeoman Households Gender Relations and the Political Culture of. the Antebellum South Carolina Low Country New York 1995. 18437 CH4 05 07 13 14 11 58 PS PAGE 492,Shire TURNING SUFFERERS INTO SETTLERS 493. in Florida the women and children of respectable planters as indi. viduals with a direct claim on the nation s resources Domesticity Amer. ican politicians believed would guarantee permanent settler colonialism 7. Yet there were also gender challenges policymakers had to meet to. pass each policy Politicians believed that settlers were more effective. than soldiers at colonizing and holding land in Florida yet it was a. dangerous frontier where Indians harmed and killed white women and. children American politicians thus cast white women in two roles the. innocent victim and the civilizing agent As victims of Indian violence. white women were highly visible in American press and support for the. war in Florida was cast as a defense of white women and their families. regardless of public dispute over the expansion of slavery or the removal. of Native Americans In their role as moral helpmeets white women. became less visible in policy Behind protective male household heads. policymakers tacitly recognized women s presence in language about. families In the midst of these rhetorical changes some women adeptly. played both roles widowed sufferers under one policy became set. tlers under another and some single women filed land claims as heads. of families 8, 7 On white women s work in Florida see Anya Jabour The Privations.
Hardships of a New Country Southern Women and Southern Hospitality on the. Florida Frontier Florida Historical Quarterly 75 Winter 1997 259 75 Tracy. Revels Grander in Her Daughters Florida s Women During the Civil War. Columbia SC 2004 Edward Baptist Creating an Old South Middle Florida s. Plantation Frontier before the Civil War Chapel Hill NC 2002 On domestic. ideology see Amy Kaplan Manifest Domesticity American Literature 70 Sept. 1998 581 606 Barbara Welter The Cult of True Womanhood 1800 1860. American Quarterly 18 Summer 1966 151 74 Nancy F Cott The Bonds of. Womanhood Woman s Sphere in New England 1780 1835 New Haven CT. 1977 Christine Stansell City of Women Sex and Class in New York 1789 1860. Urbana IL 1987 Thomas Dublin Women at Work The Transformation of. Work and Community in Lowell Massachusetts 1826 1860 New York 1979. Alisse Portnoy Their Right to Speak Women s Activism in the Indian and Slave. Debates Cambridge MA 2005 Elizabeth Varon We Mean to Be Counted White. Women and Politics in Antebellum Virginia Chapel Hill NC 1998 Michael. Pierson Free Hearts Free Homes Gender and American Antislavery Politics. Chapel Hill NC 2003, 8 Amanda Bleach Willis Adela Flotard Eliza L Crews Susannah Brown and. Rebecca Munden were suffering inhabitants in 1842 and filed AOA land claims. in 1842 43 Single widowed women Eliza Ann Riley Charlotte Davis Christian. Brown Mary Darby Eliza Glenn Elizabeth Standley Susan Whitehurst Mary. 18437 CH4 05 07 13 14 11 59 PS PAGE 493,494 JOURNAL OF THE EARLY REPUBLIC Summer 2013. This article analyzes the passage and implementation of the Suffering. Inhabitants policy in Florida The analysis follows several of its female. beneficiaries into the decades following the Second Seminole War when. many of them became successful farmers and planters The choices made. by the women who received these benefits shaped these policies as did. the ideas about male and female roles held by men in congress and the. military Throughout some of the surprising connections among gender. welfare and national expansion in antebellum Florida become clear. The resolution for the relief of the indigent and suffering inhabitants of. Florida enacted by Congress in early 1836 gave rations from the. public stores to the unfortunate sufferers who have been driven from. their homes by Indian depredations It was in the context of a public. outcry against Seminole attacks on whites that the U S Congress voted. to aid the suffering inhabitants of Florida A January 13 1836 memo. rial to congress from the leading citizens of St Augustine requested. rations for citizens who had been dispossessed by Indians or who had. lost male providers killed in action Sympathy for the victims of Indian. violence was one motivation for congressional action but Florida leaders. also believed that stabilizing and increasing the population of white fami. lies moved Florida closer to statehood something that affluent planters. in Middle Florida hoped to achieve in the 1830s 9, Hall Elizabeth Ann Barry Mary Ann Garrison Charlotte Ayers Nancy Camp. bell Elizabeth Hogan and Ann Mangham filed AOA claims Rolls of Suffering. Inhabitants Letters Received by the Office of the Adjutant General 1822 1860. Record Group 94 National Archives Washington DC United States Bureau of. Land Management Florida Pre 1908 Homestead Cash Entry Patents General. Land Office Automated Records Project CD ROM Springfield VA 1993. Armed Occupation Act Permits General Land Office Records Title and Land. Records Section Division of State Lands Florida Department of Environmental. Protection Tallahassee, 9 See note 2 Reid recounted that during a very recent attack on the Stafford. family the husband had distracted Seminole attackers while his wife took their. children out the back door She fled ten miles to a neighbor s house with her three. small children one five year old one smaller and a third at the breast the. poor woman counted seven guns then an interval then a single gun she. made her way through a cold night with one child in her arms another on her. back and the third following she arrived safely but much exhausted poorly. 18437 CH4 05 07 13 14 12 00 PS PAGE 494,Shire TURNING SUFFERERS INTO SETTLERS 495.
The federal response however focused on aid to women and chil. dren In Congress support for the resolution was overwhelming but not. unanimous 178 representatives voted for it while 14 opposed it While. some representatives issued partisan attacks ultimately they did not vote. along party or sectional lines Regardless of party and region members. of Congress relied on gendered ideology When Congress considered. this request in early 1836 members invoked a wide range of arguments. for and against the policy including sympathy for victims widows and. their children a need for civilizing women on frontiers honorable men s. duty to provide for the needy the moral blameworthiness of the indigent. which depended on gender and age and the construction of white. settlers as innocent bystanders in wars between the United States and. Native Americans which rested on the assumption that Americans were. dependent on a paternal nation 10, Gender s significance in this debate had historical roots as it had. long influenced American discourse regarding aid to indigent people. Beginning in the early republic gender ideology assumptions about. clad suffering from cold Reid clearly hoped that her story would compel. national leaders to send military aid to the anxious territory Robert Raymond. Reid to John Forsyth Dec 3 1835 University of Florida Special Collections. PKY Florida Miscellaneous Manuscripts Collection Box 5 Folder 23 In 1839. following several depredations in Madison County forty one frontier residents. sent a petition to Army Headquarters at Fort Lawson requesting that commanders. station a company of soldiers near their settlements Explaining that they were. living upon the immediate frontier exposed continually to the hostile attacks of. the Indians the petitioners cited the recent attack against the Chaires family as. the reason for their fears Green Chaires survived but his wife and children had. not Undated petition William Davenport Papers 1835 1842 University of Flor. ida Special Collections PKY Florida Manuscripts Collection Box 1 Folder 1. The depredation on Chaires s family occurred in July 1839 so this petition was. sent sometime after that see R K Call to William Davenport July 17 1839 in. the Davenport Papers Box 1 Folder 1, 10 Gales Seaton s 12 2438 2439 Domestic Intelligence from the St. Augustine Herald Army and Navy Chronicle Washington DC Oct 26 1837. votes for similar policies during other Indian Wars did split along party lines as. Michele Landis discusses Let Me Next Time Be Tried By Fire Disaster Relief. and the Origins of the American Welfare State 1789 1874 Northwestern Univer. sity Law Review 92 Spring 1998 967 1034 Sufferers in Florida Gales and. Seaton s 12 2438 2448 U S Congress Biographical Directory http bio. guide congress gov biosearch biosearch asp,18437 CH4 05 07 13 14 12 01 PS PAGE 495. 496 JOURNAL OF THE EARLY REPUBLIC Summer 2013, independence and dependence rooted in the social norms of patriarchal. household order influenced which public payments counted as char. ity and which were well deserved rewards for patriotic service Poli. cies aimed at male workers and at mothers shared an underlying belief. in paternalist family structures as both supported male headed house. holds or replaced absent men with public support The policies that the. United States enacted in Florida in the 1830s and 1840s shared this. commitment to a patriarchal norm The Suffering Inhabitants policy. aided women and children only because they were without male provid. ers justifying the government s role as a stand in paternal provider and. reinforcing notions of feminine helplessness 11, During the January 30 1836 House debate several representatives.
presented the government or perhaps the nation itself as a paternal. figure that should provide for the white victims of the Seminoles and the. Florida war The war had created a situation in Florida in which individ. ual patriarchs could not protect or provide for their families on the Flor. ida frontier Representative Francis Granger a New York Whig decried. the government s impotent response The war cry is up in the woods. the tomahawk glitters in the sunbeam the scalping knife is urged to its. cruel duty the flower of your chivalry is strewed along the plain and yet. every department of this administration is as dumb as the bleeding vic. tims of this inglorious contest Granger was issuing a partisan attack. but he did so in highly gendered terms If militant masculinity had. allowed the flower of its chivalry to be killed then the nation abso. lutely had to act to rescue survivors as well as its own pride and man. hood Having failed to protect them the nation moved to provide for. their widows and children 12, Pitiable widows inspired much public sympathy in the nineteenth. 11 Sterett Public Pensions Barbara Nelson The Origins of the Two. Channel Welfare State Workmen s Compensation and Mothers Aid in Women. the State and Welfare ed Linda Gordon Madison WI 1990 123 51 Linda. Gordon Pitied But Not Entitled Single Mothers and the History of Welfare 1890. 1935 New York 1994 Theda Skocpol Protecting Soldiers and Mothers The. Political Origins of Social Policy in the United States Cambridge MA 1992. 12 Kirsten E Wood Broken Reeds and Competent Farmers Slaveholding. Widows in the Southeastern United States 1783 1861 Journal of Women s. History 13 Summer 2001 34 57 and Wood Masterful Women Slaveholding. Widows from the American Revolution through the Civil War Chapel Hill NC. 18437 CH4 05 07 13 14 12 01 PS PAGE 496,Shire TURNING SUFFERERS INTO SETTLERS 497. century and often received public aid Although they were women inde. pendent of male household authority widows had fulfilled their proper. family role by marrying and usually bearing children Americans. expected widows to be helpless in the aftermath of their husbands. deaths but also anticipated that they soon would competently shoulder. their new household responsibilities In fact many widows succeeded at. running family farms and businesses in the antebellum south Kirsten. Wood finds that they operated as independent inferiors in the patriar. chal order emphasizing their commitments to maternity and family and. justifying their power as simply carrying out their departed husbands. wishes While many of the women who benefited from the government. programs in Florida in the 1830s and 1840s were widows who subse. quently proved themselves competent as household heads in a frontier. territory the policies themselves did not require them to be widowed. Rather political leaders used the sympathy generating category of. widow to propel policies forward without restricting either rations or. land programs to widows only In addition to widows many married. women as well as men and some single people took advantage of. As justification for this aid and to heighten their colleagues sympa. thies many congressmen repeated stories of Indian attacks in Florida. during the debate Several cited female victims and their children who. were attacked at home and torn from their secure domestic spaces They. also repeatedly invoked the tomahawk and scalping knife as symbols. of the cruel methods of the savage Indians Representative Amos Lane. of Indiana Democrat described Florida s frontier as a scene that can. but call for the commiseration of every sympathetic bosom in response. to the cries of women and children as the scalping knife is urged to. its bloody office Sympathy for women and children in addition to. calling on a national paternalism also identified the speaker as civilized. in contrast to the savages who attacked these pitiful white settlers with. exotic weapons Rhetorically gender framed policymakers as paternal. protectors and aid recipients as damsels in distress 14. 13 Granger Gales and Seaton s 12 2441 Hostility of the Indians of Florida. and Military Operations Against Them in 1836 American State Papers Military. Affairs 6 19 22, 14 Lane Gales and Seaton s 12 2441 2442 for examples of Indian depreda. tion narratives see An Authentic Narrative of the Seminole War and of the. Miraculous Escape of Mrs Mary Godfrey and Her Four Female Children. 1836 reprinted in Kathryn Z Derounian Stodola Women s Indian Captivity. 18437 CH4 05 07 13 14 12 02 PS PAGE 497,498 JOURNAL OF THE EARLY REPUBLIC Summer 2013. The Suffering Inhabitants policy not only aimed to feed women and. children but it was also designed to prevent them from fleeing Florida. in search of food and shelter and thus supported existing white settle. ments and their future expansion By 1836 East Florida s white Ameri. can residents faced food scarcity The flight of farmers to the safety of. towns and forts and the arrival of American troops in need of supplies. quickly led to a shortage of provisions in Florida Even for those with. means there was not enough food to buy This necessitated government. intervention because as Rep Granger noted without aid the few inhabi. tants left in Florida who had been driven from their homes would. inevitably perish The alternative to starvation and Indian depreda. tions was to leave the territory an option that would create a flow of. migrants in precisely the wrong direction Giving rations to widows and. orphans not only satisfied a paternalistic urge but it also served national. interests by encouraging Americans to remain in Florida 15. Alongside white women s useful roles as sympathetic victims of Indian. violence and recipients of paternal aid policymakers also considered. them vital to the process of building successful and permanent settle. ments Single male settlers with guns were hardly distinct from soldiers. since without families they were less likely to settle permanently As Sen. ator Samuel Stokely of Ohio Whig later opined during the debate over. the Armed Occupation Act in July 1842 the presence of the families. would bind the settlers to the soil and women had a most happy effect. in stimulating the courage and enterprise of their male relatives The. senator took for granted that white women were necessary for settlement. as did many of his peers who rarely made comments as explicit Since. Narratives New York 1998 211 34 Captivity and Sufferings of Mrs Mason. with An Account of the Massacre of Her Youngest Child reprinted in Captivity. and Sufferings of Gen Freegift Patchin New York 1977 A True and Authentic. Account of the Indian War in Florida Giving the Particulars Respecting the Mur. der of the Widow Robbins New York 1837 Andrew Welch A Narrative of. the Life and Sufferings of Mrs Jane Johns 1837 reprinted in A Narrative of the. Early Days and Remembrances of Oceola Nikkanochee Written by His Guardian. Gainesville FL 1977 229 60, 15 Renewal of the War in Florida Atkinson s Saturday Evening Post May.
21 1836 3 The Seminole War Niles Weekly Register Baltimore Mar 26. 1836 53 Granger Gales Seaton s 12 2441 see also Army and Navy Chronicle. Feb 11 1836,18437 CH4 05 07 13 14 12 02 PS PAGE 498. Shire TURNING SUFFERERS INTO SETTLERS 499, white women were fundamental to American settlement granting rations. and protection to them was a shrewd method of encouraging them to. stay in the territory The Suffering Inhabitants policy was more than a. paternalist response to needy women and children It was also an invest. ment in the colonization of Florida where women s presence would. make white communities permanent and prevent the Seminoles from. gaining ground 16, Beyond national paternalism sympathy for needy widows and or. phans and the desire to retain female residents and their civilizing influ. ence debate also included matters that bridged expansion and social. provision Placing Floridians in the category of sufferers implied a. connection to others who had received federal disaster aid As Michele. Landis Dauber argues disaster relief was the first sustained organized. social welfare program Beginning in 1789 the U S sent aid in various. forms to victims of earthquakes floods fires Indian depredations and. during the War of 1812 British attacks The Suffering Inhabitants policy. in Florida shares much with the disaster relief precedents that Dauber. identifies in the first three quarters of the nineteenth century including. concern about policy precedents the moral blamelessness of the victims. the assertion that the government was partially to blame invocations of. charity above precedent and in the case of Indian depredations a focus. on the savage nature of the Indians Politicians discussed precedents. for this policy including relief of victims on the Niagara Frontier after. the War of 1812 and aid the American government had sent to victims. of earthquakes floods and Indian and British depredations Unlike pre. vious sufferers those in Florida were the first white Americans to. receive food and shelter as a group from the Army during an ongoing. war though congress had granted aid for individual petitions during and. 16 Stokely as quoted in Michael E Welsh Legislating a Homestead Bill. Thomas Hart Benton and the Second Seminole War Florida Historical Quar. terly 57 Oct 1978 169 Senator William Campbell Preston expressed a similar. view Florida was low and dangerous to the health of the Anglo Saxon blood. and inviting only to those who had slaves to perform their labor distinguishing. it from the West where farmers a man and his wife would subsist on the land. Real permanent settlement required the presence of white farmers and their wives. not the absentee slave owners he feared would acquire Florida lands Preston. South Carolina Whig Congressional Globe Washington DC 1840 26th Cong. 1st sess appendix 75,18437 CH4 05 07 13 14 12 02 PS PAGE 499. 500 JOURNAL OF THE EARLY REPUBLIC Summer 2013, after other armed conflicts For example Congress partially reimbursed.
the Niagara victims for property losses suffered due to British attacks. during the War of 1812 granting them cash payments after the war 17. Congressmen also ironically discussed Indian treaty provisions as a. pertinent precedent for government aid during a war Such provisions. had granted many displaced Native Americans rations and annuities in. exchange for leaving their land Supporters of the Suffering Inhabitants. policy cited previous aid for the Seminoles as one rationale for providing. similar aid to its own citizens if the Seminoles had received help surely. white families deserved as much Delegate Joseph White of Florida noted. that even as Congress debated this resolution the Army was feeding the. Seminoles awaiting removal at Fort Brooke Tampa Bay The United. States had granted Seminoles a variety of provisions in treaties including. rations farming equipment livestock and cash All the Seminoles forced. westward received money food and clothing beginning in 1834 and. continuing through the period of the Suffering Inhabitants policy In the. long history of Indian diplomacy the U S granted annuities to many. Indian tribes in exchange for their land which again indicates that provi. sions for welfare of Indians as well as white frontier settlers were. policies aimed at supporting national territorial expansion 18. Given these extensive precedents in disaster relief and Indian policy. congressional leaders tried to foresee how their actions might inspire. future policies Many anticipated that Americans would continue to. spread further to the south and west They worried that this resolution. would result in a legislative precedent for taking a hundred millions. 17 Landis Let Me Next Time Be Tried By Fire quote 973 Michele L. Landis Fate Responsibility and Natural Disaster Relief Narrating the Ameri. can Welfare State Law Society Review 33 June 1999 257 318 Michele. Landis Dauber The Sympathetic State Law and History Review 23 Summer. 2005 387 442 Michele Landis Dauber The War of 1812 September 11th. and the Politics of Compensation DePaul Law Review 53 2003 2004 289. 18 Joseph White Gales and Seaton s 12 2439 Joe Knetsch Florida s Semi. nole Wars 47 48 54 Knetsch Fear and Anxiety on the Florida Frontier Articles. on the Second Seminole War 1835 1842 Dade City FL 2008 34 Mahon. History of the Second Seminole War 47 Grant Foreman Indian Removal Nor. man OK 1972 314 386 Claudio Saunt A New Order of Things Property. Power and the Transformation of the Creek Indians 1733 1816 New York. 18437 CH4 05 07 13 14 12 03 PS PAGE 500,Shire TURNING SUFFERERS INTO SETTLERS 501. from the Treasury to aid settlers who suffered in frontier wars with Indi. ans Their concerns were prescient Just four months later following a. debate in which lawmakers cited the Suffering Inhabitants policy the. House approved rations for whites displaced by Creek attacks along the. Florida border in Alabama and Georgia 19, While the concern with precedent occupied some leaders others took. up the question of relief itself or social provision Policymakers de. bated the moral responsibility of the targeted aid recipients Some con. gressmen worried that this policy would make Florida s residents lazy. and dependent Rep Richard Hawes of Kentucky Democrat pro. posed amending the resolution by replacing sufferers with the phrase. women children and men unable to bear arms in order to avoid. creating dependence Feed men up stuff them with rations and. there is no fighting Let them be hungry at times and then they will. fight fast enough As Hawes s proposed amendment indicates gender. and age were two significant criteria for establishing that a victim was. not responsible for his or her own suffering Dependent white women. children and disabled men could not possibly be responsible for their. situation 20, The concern about creating dependence came directly from debates. about poverty relief in the early nineteenth century Americans disagreed. about the relative superiority of outdoor relief assistance to poor peo. ple living in their own homes or indoor relief aid that required poor. people to live and labor in institutions Those who attacked outdoor. relief believed that giving the poor aid without surveillance undermined. their work ethic and encouraged idleness Deliberations in Congress. regarding the Florida victims never directly addressed outdoor and. indoor relief because there was no option for indoor relief Florida was. an overwhelmingly rural federal territory It lacked the state agencies and. the urban centers in which benevolent agencies typically operated The. Suffering Inhabitants policy offered white settlers the option to live at a. fort if they sought a safe place to dwell but it did not require them to do. so The policy also excluded able bodied men in order to satisfy skep. tics such as Representative Hawes Rather than debating whether to. 19 Gorham Parks a Maine Democrat Gales and Seaton s 12 2440 Gales. and Seaton s 12 1537 1592 93 4032 50,20 Hawes Gales and Seaton s 12 2442. 18437 CH4 05 07 13 14 12 03 PS PAGE 501,502 JOURNAL OF THE EARLY REPUBLIC Summer 2013.
build poorhouses in Florida the congressional debate took up questions. about moral blameworthiness disaster relief and precedents 21. The question of moral blame was also distinct from contemporary. poverty debates because Florida was a frontier where Indian warfare. rather than the tax burden created by poor people was the problem It. was easier therefore for lawmakers to blame forces other than the vic. tims themselves for their situation Supporters of the policy put the. responsibility on the Indians and the American government Delegate. Joseph M White of Florida as a federal territory Florida sent a nonvot. ing delegate to congress opined This bloody war now raging on our. frontier was not produced by any acts of the people who were plundered. and murdered nor by causes which they could by any foresight or. courage control or prevent It grew out of the relations between the. Government of the United States and these Indians A treaty was entered. into the time arrived and they violated this convention and com. menced this scene of destruction upon the peacable sic unsuspecting. and unoffending inhabitants of Florida Although surely the Seminoles. recognized the presence of whites as very clear proof of American aggres. sion this view maintained white American settlers innocence by relying. on gendered relations of power It presumed that Americans were. dependent on the paternal nation unconnected to the government s dip. lomatic endeavors and therefore innocent of any aggression Conve. niently it held that whites were victims of their government s statecraft. rather than its perpetrators and beneficiaries 22, Although no one expressly cited it the federal Indian Depredation. Claims System probably contributed to this framing of the conflict. because it rewarded private citizens who had suffered in the process of. expanding settlement and encouraged Americans to make their govern. ment responsible for losses they suffered in frontier conflicts From 1796. until 1920 the government pledged to reimburse losses that citizens. incurred by Indian depredation if the attack took place outside of. Indian territory during a time of peace So many southerners filed claims. against the Creeks and Seminoles in the 1830s that Congress appointed. 21 Michael Katz In the Shadow of the Poorhouse A Social History of Welfare. in America New York 1986 3 57 Greg Shaw The Welfare Debate Westport. CT 2007 19 40,22 White Gales and Seaton s 12 2443 2444. 18437 CH4 05 07 13 14 12 04 PS PAGE 502,Shire TURNING SUFFERERS INTO SETTLERS 503. a commission to investigate in 1837 It eventually rejected these claims. because the attacks had taken place during war not peacetime 23. Although some placed responsibility on the government others in. Congress did not accept white settlers innocence Opponents pointed. out that the settlers went to the frontier because they stood to benefit. Rep Joel Turrill a New York Democrat believed that Floridians were. no different from other pioneers whose spirit of enterprise has stimu. lated them with the hope of gain to press their settlements into the. wilderness where savage tribes still linger with a full knowledge of. the hardships and privations of the difficulties and dangers they have to. encounter As such they had no particular claims over other pio. neers Turrill proposed an image of the hardy presumably male pioneer. aware of danger as an alternative to the assertion that the Florida victims. were dependents without responsibility for their own suffering Although. this opposition failed in debate it foreshadowed the gendered shift that. took place as policies changed in the early 1840s When Congress passed. the Suffering Inhabitants resolution on February 1 1836 gendered argu. ments for sympathy nationalist paternalism and white women s vital. role in colonization overcame concerns about creating precedents and. idle dependents Gender also shaped how the military executed this. As violence escalated toward war in 1835 terrified whites began to pour. into towns like Jacksonville and St Augustine Anna Maria Dummett. daughter of a sugar planter narrowly escaped an 1836 Seminole attack. on her family s plantation and weathered the remainder of the war in St. Augustine She recalled It might be said we lived under martial law. It was not safe to ride half a mile out of town for the Indians were at. times very near A very strict guard was kept up Many other. white refugees arrived in towns in 1836 and 1837 where they faced food. shortages overcrowding and disease 25, 23 Larry C Skogen Indian Depredation Claims 1796 1920 Norman OK. 24 Joel Turrill Gales and Seaton s 12 2446, 25 Anna Maria Dummett Remembrances of the Old Plantation Literary.
Florida Feb 1949 8 15,18437 CH4 05 07 13 14 12 04 PS PAGE 503.

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