As the Indian agent for the federal government, Wiley Thompson was charged by president Andrew Jackson with the removal of the Seminoles from Florida to make room for white settlers. His death at the hands of Osceola, a leader of the native resistance, was one of two events on Decembery 28, 1835 that sparked the Second Seminole War.
The events of that day are reenacted at a newly built replica of Fort King in Ocala in December. (The other event, known as Dade’s Massacre, is reenacted the first week of January in Bushnell.)
But Fort King failed to accomplish its purpose, and in 1829 it was abandoned when funding from the federal government was cut. The following year Congress passed the Indian Removal Act that would force the relocation of all native Americans west of the Mississippi River.
The two-day event called “Fight for Freedom” reenacts Osceola’s attack on Fort King and the killing of Indian Agent Wiley Thompson. The event sparked the Second Seminole War.
In addition to the reenactment, the event presents living history of life in the 1830s. Visitors can tour the fort, shop at period vendors, explore encampments, enjoy refreshments and watch games including tomahawk throwing and horseshoes.
Attack on Fort King: If You Go
The 2022 event will be held on December 3 & 4 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission is $5 per person. Veterans and children under 5 years old are admitted free of charge. The event is located at Fort King National Historic Landmark, 3925 East Fort King Street in Ocala, Florida. 3925 East Fort King Street in Ocala, Florida The 2019 event will be held on December 7 & 8 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission is $5 per person. Veterans and children under 5 years old are admitted free of charge. The event is located at Fort King National Historic Landmark, 3925 East Fort King Street in Ocala, Florida.
I love Osceola and how badass he was, but please correct his status for historical accuracy. He was not a chief, not even a tribal leader, just well known for being awesome.
Michael Warren says
Thanks for this. I’ll update it. But in reading I’m seeing many references to him being a “chief.” Could you share a reference about the distinction?