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A Guide to the Edward T. Keenan Papers

Finding aid prepared by Stephanie Slota

University of Florida Smathers Libraries - Special and Area Studies Collections
December 2009

Descriptive Summary

Creator: Keenan, Edward T.
Title: Edward T. Keenan Papers
Dates: 1835-1960
Abstract: Notes of Seminole War fort locations; photocopied originals of scouting reports, diaries, correspondence from the National Archives and typed transcriptions; photos of Seminoles. Compiled by Edward T. Keenan and Thomas Brown.
Extent: 3 Linear feet. 4 boxes.
Identification: Ms 59
Language(s): English

Biographical/Historical Note

Edward T. Keenan was born on July 22, 1882 in Watertown, New York. He served as a major in the U.S. Army and went on to a career as a soil scientist. Keenan's scientific studies were carried out in Frostproof, Florida where, in 1928, he established the Keenan Soil Laboratory. When he retired from the lab in 1950 he devoted the majority of his time to researching the Seminole Wars. He took special interest in the location of Seminole War forts around the state of Florida, compiling material as part of the Keenan Library of Seminole War Facts. Keenan died on July 2, 1961.

Thomas O. Brown worked with Keenan in his research on the Seminole Wars and accompanied him on his field research.

Source: Who Was who in Florida by Henry S. Marks (Huntsville, AL: Strode Publishers, 1973) and "Locating Seminole Indian War Forts" by Thomas O. Brown, The Florida Historical Quarterly 40 (1962):310-315.

Scope and Content

The Edward T. Keenan Papers consist of photocopied originals of scouting reports, diaries, and correspondence from Florida's Seminole Wars. His principal interests were in the Second Seminole War (1835-1842) and the Third Seminole War (1855-1858). Photocopies come mostly from the National Archives. Many have transcriptions typed up by Keenan. For his transcriptions, Keenan composed a short statement describing the content of each transcription and notes explaining the importance of each topic.

During the 1950s, Kennan compiled files documenting the locations of forts from the Seminole Wars. Organized alphabetically by the name of each fort, the files include historical notes and correspondence, history of the forts, map locations, and Keenan's own field notes. A few photographs relating to the location of forts are included in the collection.

Keenan also compiled a small collection of photographs documenting Seminole life during the 1950s in and around Big Cypress. Keenan is the subject of a few of the photographs, as well.

Keenan contributed articles to the Tampa Tribune's Sunday feature "Pioneer Florida" by D.B. McKay. The collection contains a run of these columns from 1953, 1954, 1955, 1958, and 1960. Other contributors include Albert DeVane and Frog Smith.

Access or Use Restrictions


The collection is open for research.

Related or Separated Material

Keenan worked with author Louis Bishop Capron and historian Albert DeVane, and is represented in their papers.

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], Edward T. Keenan Papers, Special and Area Studies Collections, George A. Smathers Libraries, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida.

Acquisition Information

Gift of Thomas Owen Brown

Processing Information

The Edward T. Keenan Papers also included books and maps, which were incorporated into the P.K. Yonge Library of Florida History.

Contents List

1 Transcription: Backus, Capt. Electus- 1862
1 Transcription: Benson, Lieut. Henry- 1862
1 Transcription: Blake, Gen. Luther- 1852-1856
1 Transcription: Cason, Capt. John C.
1 Transcription: Clarke, Col. Newman S.
1 "Scouting on the Withlacoochee," transcribed by Don Sheppard
1 Transcription: Dexter, Horatio S.- 1823
1 Transcription: Forry, Samuel- 1811-1844
1 Transcription: Gates, Capt. Collinson R.- 1842
1 Transcription: Ives, Lieut. Joseph C.- 1856
1 Transcription: Harney, William S.-1857
1 Transcription: Humphreys, Gad- 1825- 1830
1 Transcription: Lawson, Thomas-1838
1 Transcription: Loomis, Col. Gustavus- 1857-1858
1 Transcription: Phelps, John W.- 1813-1883
2 Military Posts of Florida Fortified Prior to 1860
2 Arbuckle, Gen. Matthew- 1776-1851
2 Meade, Lt. George G.
2 Scott, Gen. Winfield- 1786-1866
2 Smith, Col. Persifor Frazen - 1858
2 Twiggs, Maj. Gen. David E.- 1790-1862
2 #1 Scouting 1841-1842
2 #2 Scouting 1841-1842
2 #3 Scouting 1841-1842
2 Seminole Wars, 2nd, 3rd
2 Subject File- Loch Hatchee 1838
2 Subject File- Palackilaha 1842
2 Subject File- Hatcheeluskee 1837
2 Subject File- USS Grey Cloud
2 Subject File- Niles Register
2 Subject File- Correspondence relating to the Dade Massacre, Ft. Dade, Clinch
3 Forts and Sites A-C
3 Forts and Sites D-K
3 Forts and Sites L-R
3 Forts and Sites S-W
3 Photos- Alligator (Includes Biography)
3 Photos- Billie Malto 1932
3 Photos- Book- History of the Indian Tribes of North America (McKenney and Hall) 1954
3 Photos- Capt. Tom Tiger
3 Photos- Drawings (pencil) of Osceola and Chopco
3 Photos- Eli Morgan, Brighton 1955
3 Photos- Emma and Little Charlie Micco and Others
3 Photos- Ferrying the Platt River (reprint of 1868 photo)
3 Photos- George Osceola in Washington with Jimmie Billie and Buffalo Tiger
3 Photos- Fort Braden 1957
3 Photos- Fort Capron 1956
3 Photos- Fort Dallis 1957
3 Photos- Fort Dulaney 1957
3 Photos- Fort Gates 1957
3 Photos- Harry Flood and others at memorial for George S. Payne and D. Whiddon 1928
3 Photos- Historic photographs (reproduced) Seminole leaders
3 Photos- Illustrations/ Paintings (reproduced) by Catlin of Osceola and other Seminole leaders
3 Photos- Images from "Across the Everglades": Billy Stewart and his bride; Dr. Tiger
3 Photos- John Chipco, Arkansas
3 Photos- Josie Billie with Keenan and other Billie family members
3 Photos- Keenan, Edward
3 Photos- Keenan, possibly Thomas Brown, Street Hare at Fort Drum 1956
3 Photos- Keenan with Susie Tiger and Frank Shore 1954
3 Photos- Key West Billie
3 Photos- Old Billie Malto ~1892
3 Photos- Polly Parker
3 Photos- Seminole family of John Jumper at Stranahan's Camp, New River
3 Photos- Seminole Life at Big Cypress 1958
3 Photos- Tallahassee and Tommy Hill
3 Photos- Tiger Tail
3 Photos- Volusia Settlement 1958
4 Issues of "Pioneer Florida" by D.B. McKay 1953, 1954, 1955, 1958, 1960

Selected Subjects and Access Terms

Florida -- History -- 1821-1865.
Seminole Indians.
Seminole War, 2nd, 1835-1842.

For further information, please contact: Special Collections Access Services.

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