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Itcho Tustennuggee,
Henry Inman (1801-1846)

View Artist Bio
Oil on canvas
30 x 25 inches
Status: Private Collection, Florida

HENRY INMAN after Charles Bird King (1801-1846)


Itcho Tustennuggee


In the fall of 1823, two years after Florida came into the possession of the United States, a treaty was signed by three Indian commissioners from Washington with the Florida tribes. The following winter the treaty was ratified by Congress.


It was not often that Indian commissioners became conscience stricken, but it appears that when Commissioner James Gadsden, a friend of Jackson, inspected the lands allotted to the Seminole he discovered that there was so little tillable land that he recommended to the War Department that additional territory be given to the nation. There was immediate presidential approval.


The Seminole were outraged when they discovered that they were now confined within certain boundaries, whereas in the past they had roamed and hunted where they pleased. Their chiefs protested to Gadsden. It took two more years, but in 1826 more land was given to the Seminole.


Then the United states followed its classic pattern in dealing with the Indian nations; in 1832, a small group of chiefs was persuaded to sign the Payne's Landing treaty, thus yielding up to the United States the very lands given to them by the government.


"You give with one hand and take away with the other," a Seminole chief bitterly told the commissioners.


The Seminole War broke out after Osceola denounced the chiefs and warned that anyone who sold Seminole land would die.


"Itcho means deer and Tustennuggee, warrior, so he is therefore known by the English name of Deer Warrior," McKenney wrote in 1835. "He was doubtless famous when young for killing deer, and no doubt owes his name to killing deer. He is a partisan Chief. One who hunts of choice, but fights when he is called upon to do so."


Taken from: The McKenney-Hall Portrait Gallery of American Indians, James D. Horan, Crown Publishers, Inc., New York, New York, 1972, pages 250, 251.

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