Mr. Barker was a trader. Located about 4 miles north of Fort Pierce, his post is listed as the voting precinct in the years 1844 and 1845. The exact location of what was called “Barker’s Bluff” is still disputed, but known to be south of Sebastian and North of Fort Pierce. His permit for land under the Armed Occupation Act was number 69. He was the brother-in-law of William F. Russell.

It is believed that Barker cheated in his trading with the Seminoles, by selling them defective gunpowder and adulterated whiskey. On July 13, 1849, Barker and Russell were approached by four Indians, who took aim at them and fired. One ball hit Russell in the arm and both he and Barker began to run. The Indians followed Barker and stabbed him to death. These events were witnessed by Caleb Lyndon Brayton.

Russell’s wife Susan, Barker’s wife and several children had escaped to the woods. Brayton and Russell ran to Gattis’ place, where Caleb dressed Williams wound. Although they were fired on again by Indians, they escaped by boat. Barker’s widow sold property to his sister Susan Russell in 1875.


  • Pictorial History of Saint Lucie County 1565-1910, by Kyle S. Van Landingham 1988
  • A Portrait of St. Lucie County, Florida, by Lucille Rieley Rights 1994
  • East Coast Florida Memoirs, 1837-1886, by Robert Ranson 1926