“It is impossible to be sure, but in these crucial last days of 1835, Wild Cat and John Horse may have met for the first time. Superficially, they would have had little in common. Wildcat was a lordly Seminole chief, and John Horse was, despite his possessions, a black Seminole slave. But Abraham had proven a canny Seminole Negro could wield considerable influence, and in terms of intellect, John Horse was clearly Abraham’s superior. More than any other moment in the history of the tribe, whenever it was that Wild Cat and John Horse recognized each others skills and became friends would impact the future of the Seminole Negro. Theirs would become a uniquely powerful, long lasting friendship.”
“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 into Micanopy’s family. It was rare for Seminole Negro makes to be allowed to formally wed Seminole women. Obviously, John Horse had attained a great deal of respect among the Indians. He was one of the few blacks — orIndians — to thrive. Most were still near starvation on reservation lands.”
“It was then, in the fall of 1826, that the Seminole Negro’s greatest leader first made himself known. Abraham the Prophet clearly led the blacks for the present. He would be an integral part of their history for some time to come. But another man eventually surpassed him. Willie Warrior and Ben Pingenot may have disagreed about some things, but they were in complete agreement about John Horse. They both called him a genius.
‘Keep in mind you’re talking about the little boy of an Indian’s black slave,’ Ben said. ‘No books in his hut, certainly. No one top teach him arithmetic. Yet this incredible man emerges. I would say without qualification that he was the intellectual equal of just about anyone in our nation’s history. He was that special.'”