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Douthat also confirmed that records show Jonathan Crawford was enrolled in Captain Richard Waterhouse’s company during the Second Seminole War from 1837 to 1838.
The pension for which Neona Crawford, widow of Private Jonathan Crawford, applied in Bledsoe County in 1850 and 1851 was granted by the U.S. Department of War for Neona in 1853. She received a pension of $3.50 per month for a period of six years, ending in 1859. The pension was apparently administered out of the U.S. Department of War’s offices located in Knoxville, Tennessee.
You can see the image of the record of that pension here:
Jonathan Crawford is the same ancestor of Elizabeth Warren who one year earlier in 1836 served in the Tennessee Militia that rounded up Cherokees living in Tennessee at the beginning of the Trail of Tears.
Crawford was among 600 Tennesseans who volunteered to serve in the battallion recruited by William Lauderdale to fight against the Seminoles in Florida.
The Seminole Tribe of Florida offers this description of the Second Seminole War in which Elizabeth Warren’s great-great-great grandfather fought against them:
Through the Treaty of Moultrie Creek (1823), the Treaty of Payne’s Landing (1832), and numerous “talks” and meetings, US Indian Agents sought to convince the Florida Indians to sell their cattle and pigs to the US government, return runaway slaves to their “rightful owners,” leave their ancient homelands in Florida, and move west of the Mississippi River to Arkansas Territory. In 1830, soon after Jackson the Indian fighter became Andrew Jackson, the president of the United States, he pushed through Congress an Indian Removal Act. With this Act, the determination of the government to move Indians out of the Southeast and open the land for white settlement became the official policy of the US, and the willingness of the government to spend monies in support of military enforcement of this policy increased.
The clash that inevitably resulted from this policy finally began in 1835, and the seven years that it lasted frame the last, the greatest, and arguably the most tragic years in the history of US-Indian relations east of the Mississippi River. Known to history as the Second Seminole War, the US government committed almost $40,000,000 to the forced removal of slightly more than 3,000 Maskókî men, women, and children from Florida to Oklahoma. This was the only Indian war in US history in which not only the US army but also the US navy and marine corps participated. Together with the desultory Third Seminole War, a series of skirmishes that took place between 1856 and 1858, the United States spent much of the first half of the 19th century in trying, unsuccessfully, to dislodge about 5,000 Seminoles from Florida.
Unlike the “Trail of Tears” that took place in a single, dreadful moment, in 1838, in which several thousand Cherokee people were sent on a death march to the West, the removals of the Seminole people from Florida began earlier and lasted 20 years longer. Just like that other event, however, the toll in human suffering was profound and the stain on the honor of a great nation, the United States, can never be erased. The Seminole people – men, women, and children, were hunted with bloodhounds, rounded up like cattle, and forced onto ships that carried them to New Orleans and up the Mississippi. Together with several hundred of the African ex-slaves who had fought with them, they were then sent overland to Fort Gibson (Arkansas), and on to strange and inhospitable new lands where they were attacked by other tribes, in a fierce competition for the scarce resources that they all needed to survive.
William Lauderdale, the commander of the battalion in which Warren’s ancestor fought, was a close ally of Andrew Jackson.
“Lauderdale was a friend of President Andrew Jackson. The two were neighbors in Tennessee. Jackson asked Lauderdale to take his Tennessee Volunteers to Florida to help in capturing the Seminoles in South Florida to make the area safer for settlers,” the South Florida Sun Sentinel reported in this 1988 article:
Lauderdale arrived on March 5  and began to build a military post, named Fort Lauderdale, on the banks of New River at Southwest Ninth Avenue.J
The city of Fort Lauderdale, named after the fort, was founded 57 years later in 1895. Forts in those days were named after the commanding officer of the men who built them
On March 22, 1838, Lauderdale and 600 men participated in a skirmish of the Second Seminole War on Pine Island. They drove 50 to 100 Indian warriors and their women and children off the island. The soldiers had pushed and pulled their boats through 15 miles of the shallow Everglades and arrived at the settlement exhausted, according to Fort Lauderdale historian Cooper Kirk, who has written a biography of Lauderdale. . .
Kirk says after the Seminole wars there were only 299 Indians left in Florida. Before the wars he says there were not a great number, only 4,500 to 4,800. About 4,000 Seminoles were taken to settlements in Oklahoma. Today, 1,700 Seminoles reside in Florida.
Jonathan Crawford mustered out of Lauderdale’s Battalion at New Orleans, Louisiana, in May 1838, and returned to Tennessee. He died there in 1841.
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