Cattle Drive near Bartow, FL, circa 1890's. During British rule (1763-1783), English planters and Creek Indians in west Florida owned substantial herds. Cowmen from Georgia and the Carolinas spread into north Florida during that period. In early Florida, Europeans, Americans, and Indians stole cattle from each other. Rustling became particularly widespread by the second half of the 18th century, and was one of the elements that led to the Seminole Wars.