Dear Fellow Researchers,
Thank you so much for the helpful responses to my query about James Pendarvis (b.1797 in S.C.) I thought you all would enjoy this excerpt from D.B.McKay "Florida Pioneers",1950, Vol. 1pp.328/29. McKay was the owner/editor of the "Tampa Tribune" and a noted amateur historian. This is part of an oral history he took from Jake Summerlin, "King of the Florida Crackers", the most famous cattleman in the state's history. The interview evidetly took place in the 1920s. The events described took place in December 1835 and January 1836. Newnansville was attacked within a day of the Dade Massacre that started the Second Seminole War.
"As the hot summer went on, there was sickness and death in the fortified village behind the tall logs; and the Indians seemed to have deserted that part of the country, the times were changed. Mothers carried their sick babies outside the walls and camped and cooked in the shade of the trees; only returnng when darkness came. Day after day the fort was emptied.
"Old men and boys, who were the sole defense of the place went to hunt wild turkeys or other game, and all rested in a careless sense of security.
"So it was that one day 'old man Pendarvis' went out to see if he could kill a deer and followed the narrow stream, shaded by trees where the deer came to drink. Suddenly his old dog stopped with a peculiar groan, and Pendarvis crept forward until he saw two or three Indians, armed, naked, and painted, creeping up to the stream. He hastened back to give the alarm, and a wild scene followed - women shrieking and rushing to the fort carrying their babies and men running for their guns.
"Men were bewildered and panic-struck. There were but 300 men and boys and there were the lives of 1000 women and children at stake. The old deer hound had done his part to warn of the arrival of Osceola and 500 braves.
The pioneers sucessfully repelled the Seminoles and Newnansville was spared.
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