A Rhode Island veteran of the Seminole War

This is a fabulous find which was just lying on the back room shelves. It is two volumes (I and III) of a three-volume diary written by a U.S. Army captain and artist, John Rogers Vinton, who was serving in the Second Seminole War. Born in Providence on 16 June, 1801, Vinton graduated from the United States military academy in 1817 and served in the U.S. Army in Florida and Mexico. He was promoted to captain in the 3d artillery on 28 December, 1835, was brevetted major on 23 September, 1846, for gallantry at Monterey, and the degree of A. M. was given him by Brown in 1837. He died near Vera Cruz, Mexico, 22 March, 1847 from wounds sustained at the Siege of Vera Cruz.

Documents like this are incredibly important, especially if they shed light on events which are under-represented in American history, as the Seminole Wars most certainly are (they constituted the longest-running Indian conflict in the United States, but there are only a handful of books on the subject). The University of Florida reportedly has five pencil sketches by Vinton, of which I hope to get good reproductions to reunite with the diary.

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3 thoughts on “A Rhode Island veteran of the Seminole War

  1. What a great find! The Indian wars of the American Great Plains and Southwest receive much attention, but the Southeast had just as many important struggles that shaped what is now the US and the sovereign nations of the tribes of that area.

    The diary will be of great interest to historians of Indian – US relations.
    Donna Longo DiMichele

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