They were mostly Scots, Irish, and Welsh immigrants who had first settled in the Carolinas. They had been longing to move south in Florida for years, but couldn't because it belonged to Spain. Now it belonged to America. Now they came in waves.
Described in Army letters and contemporary accounts as being greedy, ignorant, defiant, uncouth, tenacious, and self-sufficient, they were the advance guard of American Civilization in the South. Collectively they were called 'Crackers', for the crack of their whips as they spurred their draft cattle south into Florida. They lived alone, deep in the Forest, far from their neighbor. As such they, particularly the women became lonely and distrustful, but quested for company. Circuit Riders brought them national news and the Good News of the Gospels. They were survivalists just like the Indians. But they had the U.S. Army on their side.