Fort Gamble Fl: Indians hung 2 negroes to tree & killed by bashing heads; mutilated others

Date Written

June 22, 1841

Thomas Lenington Thorne was 23 years old when this was written.
The recipient, Abby Lenington Wolfe, was 48 when it was received.

It was written 177 years, 6 months, 27 days ago.
It was a Tuesday.

Fort Gamble Middle Florida
June 22, 1841

Dear Mother,

Your letter dated April 5th did not reach me till yesterday, in consequence of having removed to this part of the Territory. You mention having written me two letters previous to the one now before me, neither of which have been received. You also mention it as your attention to write me on the 15th of April, had you written on that date, it should be due course of mail been in my possession ere this. I have my dear Mother however to thank and my friends for the readings with which they undertook my case, and to Mr. Geire’s I shall ever consider myself his debtor, at least in gratitude and long do I wish to make his acquainted that I may thank him in “propria persona”. I have since our arrival in this section of the country enjoyed very feeble health, constantly scouting or escorting—

There have been several murders committed in this vicinity of which you will probably see accounts in the papers a weeks since a Mr. Livingston a very worthy young man was shot and mangled in the most shocking manner, they cutting off his legs and arms and otherwise disfiguring his corpse yesterday. I returned from a very disagreeable duty having with 19 others been ordered to proceed about 15 miles from this place to bury two negroes who had been killed three days previous, they were wagoners. We found them tied to a tree and then brains knocked out, the Indians either not wishing to waste their ammunition or for fear of giving an alarm, knocked them in the heads and plundered the wagons. It was as you may suppose an unpleasant duty, particularly for one in delicate health, these of the mules had also been knocked in the head and killed, this happened about half way between Port Leon and this place on the 18 inst. The teams and the negroes belonged to Dr. Anderson who resides near Monticello.

You request me to date how I came where I a at present. I regret to say my Dear Mother to say that I was not aware of what I did until it was to late to repent. You are aware that I was injured in the head in Florida in 1832, from I went from Charleston, and the least excitement renders me, as I may say, with truth “non campos mentis”, I was in this state when I took the oath of allegiance to the United States. I am at any rate incapacitated for a soldier, my eyesight being very poor, it being necessary for me to use glasses at all times, in consequence of having been very sick and many little luxuries that I was forced to purchase from my own pockets, in addition to which I lost $300 having put it in an officer’s hands for safe keeping and he subsequently having deserted and fled to Texas. I have been compelled to draw on Mr. Spooner for $100 which I hope he will honor when presented, it will be in my power to repay him in about three or four months. I have written to him on the subject stating why I had been compelled to draw on him for fear the letter may not reach him in due course of mail, you will please call on Mr. Spooner and solicit him to honor the draft, stating to him that I will endeavor to repay him with interest by the first of October at the farthest. You will also please also mention that I have been seriously ill with the Bilious Fever and having met with some unforeseen losses compelled me to do what was against my inclinations. I hope you will leave no steps untaken to procure my discharge. I hope Mr. Lewis will not stop till he procures it. I am very anxious to hear from you, you will therefore write immediately on the receipt of this and let me know what success you have met with so far and what you anticipate respecting my discharge and also if Mr. Spooner will honor the draft. I am really in want of the money, and of the discharge. Mr. Jacobi lives in Tallahassee which is only 25 miles from this post, he is doing a very good business. My love to Grandmother, Sarah, Edmund, Joan, Hannah, & [?] as also to Eliza. Sincerely I hope that the day is not far distant that will see me once more among my relations and friends and by a steady course of conduct to merit their love and respect. Day after tomorrow is my birthday when I shall be 24 years of age, a time of life when one should be thinking of settling down at something certain. Hoping you will give your immediate attention to my above requests and that you will write immediately.

I remain affectionately,
T. Lenington Thorne

You will please direct:
Thos Lenington Thorne
Fort R. Gamble M. F.,
near Tallahassee, Middle Florida
Care of Lt. G. P. Fields

Scans of Letter