This Seminole Chief Didn’t Snitch

“On September 18, 1823, at Moultrie Creek just south of Saint Augustine, the major Seminole leaders signed a treaty ceding their claims to all of Florida except for a reservation, far to the south, cut off from the sea. In return for this cession and a pledge to apprehend runaway slaves, the Indians were promised […]

How a Legendary Black Seminole Got His Name

“One autumn morning in 1826, Andrew the black cook of Lt. Col. George M. Brooke, commander of the cantonment, appeared at the officer’s door. Andrew told him there was a young black Seminole wanting an interview. He also said the youth had some ‘gophers’ (land turtles) for sale. Since arriving in Florida, Brooke had developed […]

Seminole Negro John Horse Makes a Name for Himself

“The next few years found the Seminole and Seminole Negro floundering, but John Horse managed to do well for himself. Somewhere he acquired a few head of cattle. With careful handling, they grew into a herd of almost ninety. He was also a crack shot. While still in his teens, he even managed to marry […]

Black Power within the Seminole Nation

“From 1812 to 1818, the blacks among the tribespeople had been recognized for their military prowess and aggressiveness. But after 1821, when they were more closely scrutinized, their intellect and the power they wielded over their Seminole ‘lords’ were now emphasized. One observer said: ‘The negroes, who dwell among these people as slaves, ¬†are intelligent, […]

Seminole and Seminole Negro: Separate but Not Equal

  “The most telling measure of the very real division between the Seminole and the Seminole Negro was the separation of their villages. There was always space — a mile, two miles — between them. Put simply, the Seminole Negro were ¬†considered allies, but not blood kin. The Seminoles clearly felt themselves to be superior.” […]

Remembering America’s First Florida Land Grab

America had plans for the Spanish territory on its southern border — La Florida. By the early 1800s, eager slaveowners in Georgia and the Carolinas long had wanted to stop runaway slaves trekking to the Spanish territory for a better life. Others simply wanted to expand the American empire at a time when Spain lacked […]