History of Indian Key
- Charles Howe Jr. Letter of the Massacre -
By Jerry Wilkinson
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     (This copy was obtained from Ray Blazsvic of Key West. J.W.)
 "The following is a true copy of an original manuscript lent me by Ralph Howe, son of Charles Howe, Jr. Ralph Howe at the time was living at 1132-25th Ave., North, Petersburg, Fla.  Charles Howe, Jr., survived the massacre.
        Oliver Griswold 
        Coral Gables, Fla. 
        Sept. 27, 1949"
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               ' Composition No. 2nd
                ' Destruction of Indian Key
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        'Indian Key was destroyed by the Indians on the 7th of August 1840. About 2 o'clock in the morning the Inhabitants were alarmed by the firing of guns and the yells of the savages. Our family escaped by running to a boat a short distance off. The Indians went away about 12 o'clock the same day. They burnt all of the houses except 2 or 3. After they had gone away we took a boat and went to the Island. Fathers house was left the Indians Ripped open all of the beds and took the ticks to pack their plunder in; they took 4 negroes prisoners, & killed 2 men and 1 woman & 2 children. 1 boy got scalded to death in a cistern under a very large house. There were 2men in the cistern with him; he had got, there to secret himself   - - - the remainder of this line unreadable - - - - out, as the walls were so high; but the men that were with him succeeded in getting out very badly scalded. Some of the people escaped by going behind the rocks in the water. One man escaped by jumping from the house, a story & a half high - the number of Indians that came was supposed to be about 200 with 17 canoes - they took from the Island 7 or 8 boats and all the money and plunder they could get. The next day, we saw something in the water and went to it and found it to be an old negro that had escaped; he went to the wreck of an old vessel first and then swam over to an Island about a mile from Indian Key and got up into a tree. When the Indians were going they stopped at the Island and he could see all they were doing; he saw them put on a ladies bonnet and dance about it after frolicking about a while they went away.
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Charles Howe'"
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"Note: The back of this pen and ink manuscript bears this: "C Howe's
            Composition No. 2nd 1843."
            Ralph Howe commented that his father was 15 years old when he wrote
            the composition." 

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