General Jackson, when Governor of Florida in 1821, urged upon the Government the necessity of adopting measures to send back to their own reservations the large number of Creek Indians who had left their nation and settled with other tribes in Florida. He argued that this was an encroachment by the Creeks, and that an increase of Indians in this territory would lead to unhappy results. Colonel Joseph M. White, the delegate from the territory of Florida, fully concurred with General Jackson in this view, and so informed the Secretary of War.
The Government, disregarding these wise suggestions, entered into a treaty with the Florida Indians, September 18, 1823, at Camp Moultrie, stipulating for their continued residence in the territory for twenty years. They were by this treaty established in the heart of the country, and their claims to the lands acknowledged and guaranteed. The treaty provided, among other things, that the Seminole Indians should relinquish all their claim to lands in Florida except a tract estimated to contain some five millions of acres, within the limits of which they agreed to abide.
The Government of the United States agreed to pay to the Indians two thousand dollars to aid them in removal to the new reservation, to furnish them with certain articles of husbandry and stock to the amount of six thousand dollars, to furnish them with corn, meat, and salt for one year, to pay them forty-five hundred dollars for their improvements on their surrendered lands, to allow them one thousand dollars per annum for a blacksmith and one thousand dollars per annum for a school fund, and these last two allowances to extend during the term of the treaty. Complaints were made by the whites, and counter complaints by the Indians, of depredations, but the preponderance of testimony is that the whites were the principal aggressors. These Indians were slave-holders, having a number of negroes held in slavery by the same tenure that slaves were held by the whites in Florida. The whites commenced and carried on a systematic and continued robbery of the slaves and cattle belonging to the Indians, sending them to Mobile for sale. A protest was made by the inhabitants of ten of the Seminole towns, complaining in substance that the white people had carried all their cattle off; that the white men first commenced to steal from them; that within three years six Indians had been killed by the whites, admitting that the Indians had taken satisfaction, but were not even on that score by three.
Complaints from whites of Indian depredations and counter complaints from the Indians became so frequent that the President determined to endeavor to make a new treaty, abrogating that of Camp Moultrie. For this purpose Colonel James Gadsden, of Florida, was appointed a commissioner to carry out this purpose. The Indians, by invitation, assembled at Payne’s Landing, on the Ocklawaha River, on May 8, 1832. The points agreed upon were that the Seminole Indians relinquish their claim to the tract of land reserved for them by the second article of the Camp Moultrie treaty, containing four million thirty-two thousand six hundred and forty acres, and to remove west of the Mississippi River and there become a constituent part of the Creeks.