Park is a popular spot in St. Johns County for soccer players, dog
walkers and skate boarders.
it also represents an 1800s treaty that was broken and led to the
largest and most costly Indian war in the United States, said Bill
Adams, historian and St. Augustine's former Heritage Tourism director.
is a very significant treaty," Adams said. "This was the
greatest of all Indian wars fought in American History."
Moore, county historic resources director, said the Treaty of Moultrie
Creek was signed at a large Oak tree near the 47-acre complex Treaty
Park. The treaty was signed on the north side of Moultrie Creek
and the park is located on the south side (off Wildwood Drive),
said the Treaty of Moultrie Creek brought together the U.S. government
and 17 of the most diverse groups of Seminole Indians in 1823. About
425 Seminoles attended the meeting along, and 32 chiefs signed the
document, said Adams in his book "St. Augustine and St. Johns
County: A Historical Guide." The treaty established a 4-million-acre
reservation for the Indians in central Florida, he said.
said the site was likely chosen for the treaty signing because St.
Augustine was the center of civilization on the east coast at that
time. He said the signing was a nationally-known major event, and
many St. Augustine residents attended.
was a popular event," he said. "People made the day of
it and traveled so they could see the signing."
the treaty failed to ease tensions between white settlers and the
Seminole tribe, according to state historical documents. Adams said
the intense disagreements led to the Second Seminole War in 1835,
which was the largest and longest Indian conflict in U.S. history.
It was a seven-year war that destroyed nearly every white settlement
along Florida's east coast, south of St. Augustine, Moore said.
Seminole wars played a major role in how Florida developed,"
Moore said. "Florida's economic development completely stopped.
It halted American progress. Huge plantations in Florida were completely
said one reason why the treaty was broken was because of the "enormous"
amount of immigration from people in other states moving to Florida.
Adams said the U.S. had acquired Florida in 1821. "Florida
land was found to be very desirable," Adams said. "The
U.S. government didn't anticipate so many people moving into Indian
said there is a marker at Treaty Park with the Treaty of Moultrie
Creek's history, and there is an historical marker at the actual
site of the treaty signing. But Moore hopes to do more.
would like to have an interactive historical exhibit at the park,"
he said. "It's a really important episode in U.S. history that
was right here in our county."