7.29.2014

Report by John Gordon on conditions in Pensacola

Fort Jackson,
29th. July 1814--

           Agreeably to your order, I left Fort Jackson on the 14th and reached Pensacola on the 20th. July 1814, and delivered your letter to his Excellency the Governor of Pensacola, who called for me on the evening of the same day, and observed that the Generals letter was impertinant and contained a demand of two Indian Chiefs, namely Peter McQueen and Josiah Francis, which he conceived as an insult to the Government, and that the Spaniards would die before they would comply with such demand; on the contrary the nature of the demand, and the circumstance of some americans committing depredations on the Indians within the Territorial limits of Spain without the consent of the Government, would authorise him to arm the Indians, and furnish them with provisions and amunition, which I understood him he ment doing. On the next day I saw the Indians assembled on the public Square, and hold a council for about four hours. The day following, I saw the Indians again assembled and draw provisions. I was told by some persons that they also drew amunition, but did not see it myself. Others in whom I had confidence said that they were to receive arms and amuntition as soon as I left the place, and that the Governors answer to your letter was not to be confided to me. That he wished to gain time by the delay, that he expected a considerable Military force from the Havanah, and a large British force to take possession of all the Military posts on the Gulph in the month of September, and with the assistance of their Indian allies to be able to commence active hostilities against the United States. I was also informed by several confidential persons, that some time past two British armed vessels (a Frigate and Schooner) had landed at or near the mouth of Apalachicola and had delivered to the Indians between two and three thousand stands of arms and a large quantity of amunition, and assisted in taking them some distance up the river to be distributed, and then put to Sea--since which there had arrived three other armed vessels (two Brigs and a Schooner) and landed somewhere in the neighborhood of that place with a considerable number of troops--were building a fort and planing an expedition against some of our military posts on the Alabama, to be carried on by six hundred British and what Indians can be collected in that quarter. I was informed, that in a few days after Col: Carson left Pensacola, that Peter McQueen left that place for Apalachicola and had not returned, also that a British armed schooner had left that place for Apalachicola the day before I reached it and had taken Josiah Francis on board. It was stated by all I conversed with, that the Indians were much in the habit of killing and driving the cattle belonging to the citizens of the United States, and I saw a party come in my self with beef which they said they had taken from the inhabitants at the Tensaw. A rumor reached Pensacola the evening before I left it-- that there was a Declaration of war by Spain against the United States, but not certain.

                                                                                                             John Gordon

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