|Antonia Bonelli Leonardy captured by the Indians
complied by halsema.org editors
|From: American State Papers, Class V, Military Affairs, Vol. VI, p. 500, Washington, D.C. 1861.
Personally appeared before me, Joseph Sanchez, a Justice of the Peace for the county of St. John's, Antonia Bonelly Leonardy, who, being duly sworn, in explanation and continuation, says: That at the time the Indians made the descent upon the settlements of Josiah Dupont, Mr. Pellicer, and deponent's father, in the year 1802, she, this deponent, was about thirteen years of age.
The persons of her father's family taken by the Indians were her mother, Mrs. Mary Bonelly, and five children, viz: this deponent, Joseph, Theresa, Catherine, and John; the nine Indians set out immediately with all the plunder that they and the prisoners could carry, and traveled by circuitous routes and by-paths for the interior of the country. Deponent's family were made prisoners about three o'clock in the afternoon, and were forced to march that day and the following night until daylight of the second day., when they halted and encamped until the morning of the third day when they started again, and traveled until sundown.
ANTONIA BONELLI LEONARDI
John P. Sanchez, Justice of the Peace
|another excerpt from:
Stormes Family History, Frances Stormes Wright
Antonia was born in 1786, and thus was actually about 16 years old when captured by the Indians. Her older brother, Thomas, was killed in the initial attack on the homestead at Matanzas. Thomas was 26 years old at that time, and probably killed while trying to defend his family. This would also explain Antonia's statement in the deposition: "The Indian men went another way to dance over the scalp of deponent's brother."
It will be noted that Antonia made her deposition in 1835, some 33 years after her capture. This was probably because the first Seminole Indian War began in 1835, and evidently the authorities were trying to obtain as much evidence as possible about previous Indian attacks, and establish military responsibilities and jurisdictions. Also, the heirs of persons who had lost property in Indian attacks could make claims against the government.
|From halsema.org editors:
Antonia had a child by her Miccosukee captors. The baby was later baptized and named Maria Antonia Domecia Bonelli. Maria only lived a few short years (1804-1810). Most researchers list the father as: "Medicine man of the Mikasuky Indian village."