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A Guide to the John K. Mahon Papers

Finding aid created by Stephen Jackson

University of Florida Smathers Libraries - Special and Area Studies Collections
August 2007

Descriptive Summary

Creator: Mahon, John K.
Title: John K. Mahon Papers
Dates: 1961-2002
Abstract: Files of papers from 1961-2002, mostly dealing with Seminole Indian history, military history, and environmental activism.
Extent: 2.25 Linear feet. 5 boxes.
Identification: Ms 225
Language(s): English
Online Content Items from this collection have been digitized and are available online in the UF Digital Collections. For more information please see the note below.

Biographical/Historical Note

John K. Mahon (1912-2003) grew up in Iowa, the son of a grocer (1934-1942) and an avid member of the Boy Scouts of America; his rural upbringing gave him a life long love of the outdoors. During World War II, he served as an officer in the Ninth Armored Division of the Fifth Army in Europe (1942-1946). He attended Swarthmore College as an undergraduate and received his Ph.D. from UCLA. He joined the faculty of the history department at the University of Florida in 1954, was chairperson of the department from 1965 to 1973, and retired in 1982 after 28 years as a professor. His academic career focused on military history, a subject he became interested in during his own time of service. Mahon's most famous publication was his History of the Second Seminole War, largely regarded as the authoritative source on the subject. He was also the author of a well-received history of the War of 1812 and other works of military history. In Gainesville, Mahon was became well known for his environmental activism. He served as an officer in various environmentalist groups for many years, and became especially prominent after his official retirement from UF.

Scope and Content

The materials in this collection represent a portion of Mahon's research papers, collected from his home and donated to the University of Florida by his son, John Mahon III. Most of the materials deal with military history, Seminole Indian history, or environmental activism from 1961-2002. Mahon was a founder and board member of the Seminole Wars Historic Foundation, Inc., and worked for many years to preserve sites significant to Florida's three Seminole wars. He also served as secretary for the Foundation. Some of the materials in this collection are related to Mahon's research on the Seminole Indians. There is also a small section of general correspondence and files related to his activities as an environmentalist. This collection is arranged thematically starting with military history and moving on to Seminole history, the history of other Florida Indian groups, correspondence with colleagues, and finally Mahon's various environmental activities.

Access or Use Restrictions


The collection is open for research.

Related or Separated Material

The University of Florida also holds records of the Florida Defenders of the Environment and the Sierra Club, two environmental groups to which Mahon belonged.

Administrative Information

Alternate Form of Material

Digital reproductions of items in this collection are available online via the University of Florida Digital Collections (UFDC). Please read the Permissions for Use statement for information on copyright, fair use, and use of UFDC digital objects.

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], John K. Mahon Papers, Special and Area Studies Collections, George A. Smathers Libraries, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida.

Contents List

1 Miscellaneous Research
1 Miscellaneous Research
1 Paper on the National Guard
1 Military history- pictures
1 Miscellaneous Florida Fort information
1 Information on Fort King
1 Information on Fort King
1 Information on Fort Foster
1 Information on Fort Cooper
2 Seminole War- pictures
2 Seminole Wars- research
2 Seminole Wars- notes and presentations
2 Seminole Wars- correspondence
2 Seminole War- Information on the 1st War
2 Seminole War- Information on the 2nd War
2 Seminole War- Information on the 3rd War
2 Seminole Wars- Notes
3 Seminole Wars- Indian Chiefs
3 Seminole Wars- Osceola
3 Seminole Tribe- Miscellaneous information
3 Black Indians
3 Florida Indians- Information on Names
3 Florida Indians- Items before 1970
3 Seminole Tribe- Information from the 1970's
3 Florida Indians- 1980's and 1990's
4 Edmund Gaines- Notes
4 Sponsored Research
4 Oral History Project- Information
4 John T. Sprague- Correspondence regarding the foreword to a new edition of his work
4 Harry Kersey- Correspondence 1970-1980
4 Billy Cypress- Correspondence 1970-1975
4 Robert Hawk- Correspondence 1997-2001
4 National Endowment for the Humanities- Correspondence 2001-2002
4 Rain Forests- Information
4 Environmentalist Information
4 Salvage Operations- Information
4 Property Rights
5 Tree Ordinance Task Force Meetings- Minutes
5 Preservation Information
5 United States Western Forests
5 Forest Service
5 Conservation Information
5 Alachua County Conservation Issues
5 Gainesville Preservation Issues
5 Gainesville Conservation
5 Gainesville Trees
5 Treewatch Planting Program
5 Treewatch Information

Selected Subjects and Access Terms

Nature conservation -- Florida.
Seminole Indians -- History -- Sources.
Seminole War, 2nd, 1835-1842 -- Sources.
United States -- History, Military -- Sources.

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

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