José Masot, also known as José Fascot, was a governor and military commander. He served as Governor of West Florida from March 8, 1816 - May 26, 1818. Masot was in command during the initial stages of The First Seminole War until he was deposed by American general Andrew Jackson and replaced with William King. Masot also served as subdelegate of the Intendant and superintendent general of Florida.
|15th Governor of West Florida|
March 8, 1816 – May 26, 1818
|Preceded by||Francisco San Maxent|
|Succeeded by||William King|
|Born||late 18th century and early 19th century|
|Profession||Soldier and Politician|
Little is known about José Masot's childhood. He joined the Spanish Navy in his youth and eventually rose to the rank of Colonel. Masot was appointed governor of West Florida in March 8, 1816. Masot dealt severely with a slave uprising.
Masot was the Governor of Florida at the outbreak of The First Seminole War. After a garrison of the Negro Fort killed a group of American sailors, General Jackson decided to destroy it. In April 1816, Jackson informed Masot that if the Spanish did not eliminate the Negro Fort, he would. Masot replied that he did not have sufficient forces to take the fort. Jackson then assigned Brigadier General Edmund Pendleton Gaines to the task.
On July 1816, a supply fleet for Fort Scott reached the Apalachicola River. Colonel Duncan Lamont Clinch took a force of more than 100 American soldiers and about 150 Lower Creek warriors, including the chief Tustunnugee Hutkee (White Warrior), to protect their passage. The supply fleet met Clinch at the Negro Fort, and its two gunboats took positions across the river from the fort. The men in the fort fired their cannon at their opponents, but had no training in aiming the weapon. The Americans fired back and destroyed the fort. Of the 320 people known to be in the fort, which included women and children, more than 250 died during the assault with many others succumbing to their injuries soon after. Once the fort was destroyed, the US army withdrew from Spanish Florida.
Masot's time as governor came to an end the following year. On November 11, 1817, several officers and cadets of the Infantry Regiment of Louisiana's Fixed met at the home of Lieutenant Henry Grandpre in Pensacola. The meeting was to discuss killing Masot and installing either Commander Luis Piernas or Artillery Colonel Diego Vera in his place. The plot was discovered and Masot was able to send the news of what happened to Captain General of Cuba (in the Spanish empire, Florida was governed by Cuba) who had suspicions of a relationship between the conspirators and the American troops that had entered the territory of the Apalachicola and whose number was estimated at nearly 4,000 men.
On May 24 of 1818, the Americans occupied the square of Florida's capital, Pensacola, and, after a confrontation with gunfire (which lasted several days), Masot surrendered by formally handing West Florida to the armed forces of the United States on May 26. Capturing Pensacola was the last stage of Jackson's campaign. Colonel William King was appointed Governor of West Florida and the troops returned to US territory.
- United States Congress (1834). American state papers : documents, legislative and executive, of the Congress of the United States. Volume 4. Library of University of Michigan: Law school. Page 123.
- Francisco de Boria Cienfuegos - Jovellanos González-Coto (November 2004). Memorias del artillero José María Cienfuegos Jovellanos (1763-1825) (in Spanish: Memories of striker Jose Maria Cienfuegos Jovellanos (1763-1825)). Editorial: Ideas de Metal. Page 231
- Missall, John and Mary Lou Missall. 2004. The Seminole Wars: America's Longest Indian Conflict. University Press of Florida. Pages 27 - 32. ISBN 0-8130-2715-2.
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