Date in History:
1818 – Robert Ambrister and Alexander Arbuthnot were hanged by American soldiers led by then General Andrew Jackson at St. Marks on this date. The two British citizens were tried and sentenced in a military court for espionage and aiding the enemy during the First Seminole War. Jackson’s intention was to blame the Seminole War on outside foreign agitators such as Ambrister and Arbuthnot in order to justify U.S. military intervention into Spanish Florida. The incident gained international attention and Jackson’s actions in Florida were under close scrutiny. The United States Congress even condemned the incident, which plagued Jackson throughout his political career.