The Treaty of Payne's Landing

In 1828, Andrew Jackson was elected President of the United States. in 1830, Congress passed and President Jackson signed into law the Indian Removal Act, which called for the relocation of all Native Americans to west of the Mississippi River. The Native Americans resisted. This included the Seminole in Florida.


To facilitate the relocation of Indians from Florida,a meeting was held between U.S. representatives and Seminole leaders on May 9, 1832, at Payne’s Landing on the Ocklawaha River. The purpose of the meeting was to sign yet another treaty – The Treaty of Payne’s Landing. 


Per the terms of the treaty, the Seminole agreed to send a delegation of Seminole leaders to visit the Creek Reservation located west of the Mississippi and if they found the land suitable, they would agree to adhere to the terms of the treaty. In that case, the Seminole would be required to relinquish the land that had previously been guaranteed them in accordance with the Treaty of Moultrie Creek and move west within three years. The treaty also stipulated the United States would keep all their cattle and provide compensation and transportation expenses.


Seminole leaders did not accompany government representatives to survey the proposed Creek Reservation until October 1832. After months of touring the land, the Seminole delegation met at Fort Gibson in Arkansas on March 28, 1833 to sign the Treaty of Fort Gibson, agreeing to abide by the terms of the Treaty of Payne’s Landing. Upon their return to Florida, the Seminole denied having signed the Treaty of Fort Gibson or alternatively reported they had been coerced into signing it. Although the Treaty of Payne’s Landing was not ratified by the U.S. Senate until April 12, 1834, the U.S. Government determined the three-year clock had begun upon the original signing of the Treaty in 1832. This gave the Seminole just over a year to relocate.

 

The Seminole continued to refuse to relocate west of the Mississippi and tensions continued to rise. President Andrew Jackson intensified the push for Indian removal from the Florida territory. In March 1835, Wiley Thompson gathered a contingent of Seminole Chiefs and shared with them a message from Andrew Jackson that read, “Should you… refuse to move, I have directed the Commanding Officer to remove you by force.”


The Seminole would be required to relinquish the land that had been guaranteed them by the Treaty of Moultrie Creek.


Read More