Escaping slaves 
begin to trek to Florida for freedom


Ponce de Leon returns
to Florida with horses and other domesticated animals

Artifacts Found, Collected from forgotten Loxahatchee Battle From 1838

By Kathleen Chapman, Palm Beach Post Staff Writer

Published March 15, 2009

JUPITER, Florida — A small group of Seminoles had everything at stake when they fought more than 1,500 U.S. troops and volunteers at the Loxahatchee River in 1838.

If defeated, the Seminoles would be forced to head west to Oklahoma reservations on the Trail of Tears. (Yes, the Southern portion of The Trail of Tears starts in Jupiter Florida) Their black allies, who joined the Seminole cause after escaping from Southern plantations, could be sold back into slavery.

Incredibly the battlefield where they fought and died was almost lost forever. The area became a trailer park before Palm Beach County bought the land that is now Riverbend Park in 1978, unaware that the ground still hid the soldiers' buttons and musket balls.

Local historians rediscovered the battlefield in the early 1990s. But for nearly two decades, it had sat empty, unmentioned in guide books, unknown to many locals. That changed when Palm Beach County unveiled the first of three markers to commemorate the Second Seminole War on March 21, 2009.

Early settlers changed the landscape of the battlefield, clearing and draining what was once a nearly impenetrable swamp to plant an orange grove. But south of Indiantown Road, inside the quiet park, it is still possible to imagine the past.

"You actually can feel the spirit of those who fought and died 176 years ago," said Richard Procyk, a former detective who retired to Jupiter and spent years looking for the battlefield. "It would be a disrespect to ignore the sacrifice that was made here." 


Second Fort Jupiter built closer to Inlet
​Third Seminole Indian War begins
Pedro Menendez de Avilas lands at St Augustine

Third Seminole War end
​Jupiter Lighthouse lit
Spain cedes 
Florida to England
Mayflower Landing
Fort Mose established as the first free black community in U.S. (2 mi north of St Augustine)    
Mar 17, 1838
​Washington refuses Gen Jesup's request to allow Seminoles in Everglades
War extened till 1842
Mar 11,1838
​Samual Colt demonstrates his new repeating rifle at Fort Jupiter
Black militia from Ft Mose joined the Seminoles in the interior of Florida
Jan 24, 1838
​Second Battle of the Loxahatchee River
Gen Jesup defeats 300 Seminoles
​Second Seminole War
begins Dec 28th with Dade's Massacere
Spain sells Florida
to U.S. for 5M

Saving the History of the Loxahatchee Battlefield

Jan 28, 1838
The "first" Fort Jupiter completed
3 miles in from Jupiter Inlet
(Pennock Point)
Jan 15, 1838
​First Battle of the Loxahatchee, Powell'sbattle ends in defeat
Mar 2, 1838
​Major William Lauderdale cuts trail (Military Trail) south from Jupiter to the
 (Ft Lauderdale)
Native American Tribes and escaping black slaves begin migrating South into North Florida
Second Battle of the Withacoochee River
Osceola defeats General Gaines in decisive battle
Feb 11, 1838
​Gen Jesup request that Washington permits Seminoles to remain in Everglades
Ponce de Leon discovers
​Jupiter Inlet
May 1, 1841
Chief Wildcat and followers sent  West by Lt William Tecumseh Sherman 

[Loxahatchee Battlefield Preservationists]

First "Underground
Railroad" ran south 
to St Augustine
English Colony attempts,and fails 
settling Grenville Inlet ​(Jupiter Inlet)
Treaty of Paris
Florida returned to Spain
Northern Florida 
Tribes become 
​Seminole Nation
First Seminole War
General Andrew Jackson
​invades Florida