A Tale about Life among the Seminole Indians at the start of the First Seminole Indian War
September 30, 2017

In November of 1817, the First Seminole Indian War was started when General Edmund P. Gaines attacked Fowltown, a Seminole Indian settlement on the Flint River in Georgia just north of the Florida border.  The following month, General Andrew Jackson, without the permission of Congress, swept southward into Florida to bring the Seminole Indians under control.SEPT 30 LCHS TONI Dust jacket final

By April 16, 1818, Jackson and his troop of reached Suwannee Old Town, a large acre Seminole Indian town which was under the leadership of Chief Bowlegs.  However, the town had already been warned of Jackson’s advance and had previously evacuated.  Frustrated by his findings, Jackson captured two British traders, Alexander Arbuthnot and Robert Ambrister, and took them prisoner.  Jackson ordered Arbuthnot be hanged and Ambrister shot.

Arbuthnot was hanged from the yardarm of his own ship, the Chance and Ambrister was shot by a small firing squad of American soldiers.  The British were outraged and the American Congress went into an uproar because Jackson invaded Spanish territory and hung and shot British citizens.  Jackson had to defend his actions for many years to come.

Several years ago, H. Dale Herring, local businessman and rancher, his wife Kim, and their children took up residency on 400 acres of land about a mile from the Suwannee River in Dixie County which was the site of Bowlegs Town.  Upon discovering the history of the events which occurred on his property 200 years ago, Herring went to work to preserve history.

As the caretaker of Bowlegs Town, he allowed professional archaeologists to undertake a thorough examination of the site.  For the past three years, John Edwards of Chiefland has found more than 3,400 artifacts on the site once known as Bowlegs Town. Edwards catalogued and photographed each of the interesting items he found.

A number of those artifacts, encased in glass display cases, will be exhibited on October 7, 2017, from Noon to 3:00 p.m. at the Historic Putnam Lodge, US 19/98, Cross City, FL. At that time, Herring also will have on sale, and will sign, his recent book BOWLEGS TOWN.  The book is a story about the Seminole Indians, Bowlegs Town, and Billy Bowlegs. To reserve copies of the book in advance, email Herring at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..