Battle of the Loxahatchee

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The following article was published in the Looking Back newsletter, which I distributed when I served as Official Historian for the Village of North Palm Beach (December 2010 – March 2014). You can still read other articles on Village History at my blog, Looking Back, where you can also find the contact information for the current Village Historian.

Today, I am reposting this article because the well-known and incredibly talented artist and poet Elgin Jumper visited the battlefield this morning to paint the Tree of Tears, which is a very special part of our park. Read on for some important information about the Battle of the Loxahatchee . . . 

Elgin Jumper

Artist Elgin Jumper paints the Tree of Tears.

I was standing in line at the drug store when the young woman behind the counter asked me, “What’s your t-shirt say?”

I stepped back so she could read it: Battlefield Preservationists, Loxahatchee River Battlefield Park, Seminole War Battles, January 15th and 24th 1838. She looked at me quizzically and said, “Where’s that?”

“Down the road a couple miles,” I replied, pointing in the direction of the park. She told me in all the time she’d been working there, she’d never heard of the battlefield. I joined the preservationists months ago, and began attending meetings only recently. The more I learn, the more I realize how important it is to raise awareness about this historical landmark.

Most people know about Gettysburg. But do they know about the battlefield in Jupiter? Or about the Seminole Wars? Maybe not.

On the Scale of the Vietnam War . . .

In Guns Across the Loxahatchee, Richard J. Procyk says the Second Seminole War, from 1835 to 1842, “was the most protracted armed conflict engaged in by U.S. armed forces” until the Vietnam War. When I first read about the Second Seminole War, that statement alone was shocking to me. The war was undeclared, like Vietnam, and like Vietnam it was “unpopular with the American people,” to quote Mr. Procyk.

We all know how bloody the Vietnam War was, how many people died. Right here, in our own back yard in South Florida, a war on the scale of the Vietnam War took place. I remember thinking, “It was that bad and I didn’t even know about it?” My eyes have been opened. Without a doubt, I firmly believe that children all over the country should be reading about this in their history textbooks, just as they read about the Civil War, the Revolutionary War, the Vietnam War, and any other war that took lives and caused so much agony. I couldn’t help but wonder, Why don’t more people know about this?

Come to the battlefield in Jupiter to learn more about local history. Preservationists have worked so hard to protect the Battlefield Park from those who would destroy it, including developers! It is so important for citizens like you to get involved and protect our history. Knowledge is power!

In the fall, we’ll be returning to our usual event schedule, along with regular tours of the battlefield on Saturdays.

Share this post. Share the truth about this important part of American history!

 

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