Thursday, October 4, 2007
1. An authoritative command.
2. An urgent request.
Total Population: 10,000
Regions With Significant Populations: United States (Oklahoma, Florida)
Languages: United States
In Oklahoma ~ Creek
In Florida ~ English, Miccosukee
Religions: Protestantism, other
The Seminole are Native American people originally of Florida, and now residing in that state and in Oklahoma. The Seminole Nation came into existence in the 18th century and was composed of Indians from Georgia, Mississippi, Alabama, and Florida, most significantly the Creek Nation, as well as African Americans who escaped from slavery in South Carolina and Georgia. While roughly 3,000 Seminoles were forced west of the Mississippi River, including the Seminole Nation of Oklahoma, who picked up new members along their way, approximately 300 to 500 Seminoles stayed and fought in and around the Everglades of Florida. In a series of wars against the Seminoles in Florida, about 1,500 U.S. soldiers died. The Seminoles never surrendered to the United States government, hence, the Seminoles of Florida call themselves the "Unconquered People." The Florida Seminoles are the only American Indian tribe never to have signed a formal peace treaty with the United States.
Today, they have sovereignty over their tribal lands, and an economy based on tobacco, tourism and gambling. The "Seminoles" are also the symbol of the athletic teams of Florida State University. In response to the NCAA's proclamation that Native American names and logos will not be permitted by it's member institutions unless the namesake tribe concurs, both the 3,100 member Seminole Tribe of Florida and the 6,000 Seminole Nation of Oklahoma have officially approved the relationship and the details of the images used.
Early History Of The Seminole Indians
After the Spanish onquest in the 16th century, the indigenous people of Florida were decimated by disease, and it is believed that the few survivors were evacuated by the Spanish to Cuba when Florida fell under British rule in 1763.
In the early 18th century, members of the Lower Creek Nation began migrating into Florida to remove themselves from the dominance of the Upper Creeks, and intermingled with the few remaining indigenous people there, some recently arrived as refugees ater the Yamasee War such as the Yuchi, Yamasee, and others. They went on to be called "Seminole", a derivative of the Mvskoke (a Creek language) word simano-li, an adaptation of the Spanish "cimarrón" which means "wild" (in their case, "wild men"), or "runaway men". The Seminole were a heterogeneous tribe made up of mostly Lower Creeks from Georgia, Mikasuki speaking Muskogees, and escaped African American slaves, and to a lesser extent, white Europeans and Indians from other tribes. The unified Seminole spoke two languages, Creek and Mikasuki (a modern dialect similar to Hitchiti), two different members of the Muskogean Native American languages family, a language group that also includes Choctaw and Chickasaw. It is largely on linguistic grounds that the modern Miccosukee Tribe of Indians of Florida maintain their separate indentity today.
The Seminole Indians were on good terms with both the Spanish and the British. In 1784, the treaty ending the American Revolutionary War returned all of Florida to Spanish control. However, the Spanish Empire's decline allowed the Seminole Indians to settle deeper into Florida.
Until the majority of Seminole Indians were forced to move to the Indian Territory (modern Oklahoma) after the Second Seminole War, the Seminole Indians were led by a dynasty of chiefs founded in century by Cowkeeper.
The Seminole Wars:
After attacks by Spanish settlers on Indian towns, Indians based in Florida began raiding Georgia settlements, purportedly at the behest of the Spanish. The U.S. Army led increasingly frequent incursios into Spanish territory to recapture escaped slaves, including the 1817-1818 campaign against the Seminole Indians by Andrew Jackson that became known as the First Seminole War. Following the war, the United States effectively controlled East Florida.
The Adams-Onís Treaty was signed between the United States and Spain in 1819 and took effect in 1821. According to the terms of the treaty, the United States acquired Florida and, in exchange, renounce all claims to Texas. Andrew jackson was named military governor of Florida. As American settlement increased after the treaty acquired Florida and, in exchange, renounced all claims to Texas. Andrew Jackson was named military governor of Florida. As American settlement increased after the treaty, pressure grew on the Federal government to remove the Indians from their lands in Florida. Many Indian tribes harbored runaway black slaves, and the settlers wanted access to Indian lands. Georgian slaveowners also wanted the maroons and fugitive slaves living among the Seminoles, known today as Black Seminoles, returned to slavery.
In 1832, the United States government signed the Treaty of Paynes Landing with a few of the Seminole chiefs, promising them lands west of the Mississippi River if they agreed to leave Florida voluntarily. The remaining Seminole prepared for war. White settlers pressured the government to remove all of the Indians, by force if necessary. In 1835, the U.S. Army arrived to enforce the treaty. Seminole leader Osceola led the vastly outnumbered resistance during the Second Seminole War. Drawing on a population of about 4,000 Seminole Indians and 800 allied Black Seminoles, the Seminoles mustered at most 1,400 warriors (Andrew Jackson estimated they had only 900) to counter combined U.S. Army and militia forces that ranged from 6,000 troops at the outset to 9,000 at the peak of deployment, in 1837. To survive, the Seminole allies employed hit-and-run guerrilla tactics with devastating effect against U.S. forces. Osceola was arrested when he came under a flag of truce to negotiations in 1837. He died in jail less than a year later. His body was buried without his head.
Other warchiefs such as Halleck Tustenuggee, Jumper, and Black Seminoles Abraham and John Horse continued the Seminole resistance against the army. The war only ended, after a full decade of fighting, in 1842. The U.S. government is estimated to have spent about $20,000,000 on the war, at the time an astronomical sum. Many Indians were forcibly exiled to Creek lands west of the Mississippi; others retreated into the Everglades. In the end, the government gave up trying to subjugate the Seminole in their Everglades redoubts and left less than 100 Seminoles in peace.
In the United States 2000 Census, 12,431 people reported themselves racially solely as Native Americans with only a Seminole tribal affiliation. An additional 15,000 people identified themselves as Seminoles in combination with some other tribal affiliation or race.
The Seminole Nation of Oklahoma has about 6,000 enrolled members, who are divided into fourteen bands. Two are called "Freedmen Bands" (also black seminole) because they count their descent from escaped slaves. Band membership is matrilineal: children are members of their mother's band. The group is ruled by an elected council, with two members from each band. The capital is at Wewoka, Oklahoma. The Seminole Tribe of Florida and the Miccosukee Tribe of Indians of Florida entered into agreements with the US government in 1957 and 1962, respectively, confirming their sovereignty over tribal lands and agreeing to compensation for seized territory. Since then, the tribes have developed an economy based largely on sales of duty-free tobacco, tourism and gambling. On December 7, 2006, they purchased the Hard Rock Cafe chain of restaurants. The Miccosukee Tribe of Indians of Florida was formed in the 1960s by members of the Florida Seminole community who were unsatisfied with the Seminole Tribe of Florida; they were largely Mikasuki-speaking descendants of the Chiaha, or Upper Chehaw, who had originally lived in the Tennessee Valley as opposed to the majority of Seminoles who spoke Creek. The Miccosukee Tribe set up a 33-acre reservation on the northern border of Everglades National Park, about 45 miles west of Miami.
"When South Florida tourism boomed in the 1920s, Seminoles capitalized by wrestling alligators for money. In 1979, the Seminoles opened the first casino on Indian land, ushering in what has become a multibillion-dollar industry operated by numerous tribes nationwide. In more recent years, the Miccosukee Tribe has sustained itself by owning and operating a casino, resort, a golf club, several museum attractions, and the "Indian Village". At the "Indian Village", Seminoles demonstrate traditional pre-Columbian lifestyles to educate people of their culture. The use of "Seminole" as a namesake is common in Florida, with one county named after them, Seminole County, Florida, and another named after Seminole leader Osceola, Osceola County, Florida. There is also a city named for them in Pinellas County, FL - Seminole, Florida.
Florida State University Connection:
The image and name of the Seminole chief, Osceola, serves as a symbol for Florida State University and several high school athletic programs in the state, use the nickname, "Seminoles" as well.
According to The New York Times article "Florida State Can Keep Its Seminoles", the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) prohibition of Native American logos, signs in stadiums, cheerleader and band uniforms, and mascots as presumed "hostile and abusive" did not apply to FSU and the Seminoles, and would be considered on a case by case basis elsewhere. FSU was exempt as both the 3,100-member Seminole Tribe of Florida and the 6,000-member Seminole Nation of Oklahoma officially approved the relationship and the details of the images used. The article states, "The Seminoles are the only American Indian tribe never to sign a formal peace treaty with the United States. To celebrate this status, Florida State erected Unconquered, a statue of Chief Osceola outside its football stadium."
Indian Resistance And Removal:
In the early days of its existence, the fledgling United States government carried out a policy of displacement and extermination against the American Indians in the eastern US, systematically removing them from the path of "white" settlement. Until 1821, Florida remained under the control of the government of Spain but the US Territories of Georgia, Alabama, and Louisiana were its covetous next-door neighbors. It was clear that the US wanted the Spaniards out of Florida and was willing to consider any means, including warfare, to acquire the rich land.
Osceola And Abiaka:
Though his exploits were not as well publicized, Seminole medicine man Abiaka may have been more important to the internal Seminole war machine than Osceola.
By May 10, 1842, when a frustrated President John Tyler ordered the end of military actions against the Seminoles, over $20 million had been spent, 1500 American soldiers had died and still no formal peace treaty had been signed.
Survival In The Swamp:
The Seminoles began the 20th century where
they had been left at the conclusion of the Seminole
Wars - in abject poverty, hiding out in remote
camps in the wet wilderness areas of South Florida.
The Council Oak:
A special generation of Seminole leaders - children of that last generation to hide in the swamps - began to meet regularly beneath a huge oak tree on the Hollywood reservation.
The Seminole Tribe of Florida has matured both politically and financially.
The challenge of maintaining the unique Seminole culture while operating in the mainstream economy is the priority for today's Seminole Tribe of Florida.
The expression of Seminole culture has also been manifested on the artist's canvas. Noah Billie, perhaps the most acclaimed of Seminole painters, had a distinctive style and a love of culture which is very evident to anyone who views his works.
"Sweetgrass" baskets have been made by Seminole Indians for more than 60 years.
The amount of beads worn by Seminole women was a phenomenon to all who saw them. Imagine the amount of stamina it took to conduct daily tasks, which were a lot more vigorous than sitting in front of a TV, while wearing 12 pounds or so of beads!
The chickee style of architecture - palmetto thatch over a cypress log frame - was born during the early 1800s when Seminole Indians, pursued by U.S. troops, needed fast, disposable shelter while on the run.
There are eight Seminole clans - Panther, Bear,
Deer, Wind, Bigtown, Bird, Snake, and Otter.
A look at 18th century hairstyles of the Lower Creek Indians, many of whom would in time become known as Seminoles, shows little conclusive information about a uniform look.
~Seminoles And Christianity~
Tribes of Indians in Oklahoma began to be Christianized mainly through the efforts of the Southern Baptist Convention, Home Mission Board as early as 1846. Baptist missionaries came to the Oklahoma Creek and Oklahoma Seminole tribes in the 1870's.
More than just cloth-wrapped palmetto fiber husk stuffed with cotton, the Seminole Doll accurately portrays the clothing and hairstyle worn by traditional Seminole men and women.
~Green Corn Dance~
At the Green Corn Dance, Seminoles participate in purification and manhood ceremonies. Tribal disputes are also settled during this time.
Today's Seminole Indian enjoys the same foods, shops at the same grocery stores and calls out for pizza delivery as much as anyone living outside Seminole Country.
Late at night around the campfires, Seminole children safely tucked into mosquito nets used to listen to the elders retelling the old stories.
~A Legendary Storyteller~
The recipient of a legend must do his or her best to retell the story as close to the original version as possible. It is a great responsibility and for this reason, the best storytellers are greatly respected among those in the tribe.
One of the Seminole Tribe's noted story tellers is Betty Mae Jumper. She has written two books, ... and With the Wagons came God's Word, and Legends of the Seminoles. Both Legends Of the Seminoles and a video featuring Betty Mae Jumper called The Corn Lady.
Medicine men and women still play a vital role in the lives of Seminole Indians. These special individuals do not replace medical doctors, nor are their "treatments" designed to take the place of organized medicine.
~Seminoles And The Land~
Traditional Seminole cultural, religious, and recreational
activities, as well as commercial endeavors, are dependent
on a healthy Everglades ecosystem.
~Seminole Clothing - Colorful Patchwork~
For many decades, visitors to South Florida have been struck by the novel and colorful dress of the Seminole Indians. Bands of intricate designs adorn most garments.
The first Seminole government achieved what many felt was impossible, bringing the chaos of new organization under control.
Today, the Council administers the Tribal gaming enterprises, citrus groves, the Billie Swamp Safari, and the Ah-Tah-Thi-Ki Museum.
Animals in the Art of the Northwest Coast Coloring Book
Arrow to the Sun: A Pueblo Indian Tale
Clamshell Boy: A Makah Legend
Corn is Maize: The Gift of the Indians
Dancing Drum: A Cherokee Legend
Eyewitness Books: North American Indian
Familiar Wilderness: Northwest Coast Indians & Nature, A
Gift of the Sacred Dog, The
Girl Who Lived with the Bears, The
Girl Who Loved Wild Horses, The
Great Race of the Birds and the Animals, The
Legend of the Bluebonnet, The
Legend of the Indian Paintbrush, The
Little Firefly: An Algonquian Legend
Native American Legends: Teacher’s Guide
Native Americans (Discoveries Library)
Quillworker: A Cheyenne Legend
Teacher’s Manual (red 3-ring binder)
Turquoise Boy: A Navajo Legend
American Indian Cooking and Herb Lore
Anasazi, The (A New True Book)
Apache, The (A New True Book)
Becoming Brave: The Path to Native American Manhood
Buffalo (A New True Book)
Cayuga, The (A New True Book)
Cherokee, The (A New True Book)
Cherokee Legends and the Trail of Tears
Cheyenne, The (A New True Book)
Chippewa, The (A New True Book)
Choctaw, The (A New True Book)
Corn Recipes from the Indians
Crow, The (A New True Book)
Dancing Colors: Paths of Native American Women
Educational Coloring Book of Kachina Dolls, An
Fine Art of Navajo Weaving, The
Hopi, The (A New True Book)
How Indians Use Wild Plants for Food, Medicine and Crafts
Indian America: A Geography of North American Indians
Indian Crafts and Activity Book
Indians of the Eastern Woodlands
Indians of the Plains
Indians of the West
Kachina Doll Book, The (coloring)
Legends, Tales, and Totems of Alaska
Let’s Look Inside a Teepee
Mandans, The (A New True Book)
Mohawk, The (A New True Book)
More than Moccasins: A Kids Activity Guide to Traditional Native American
Myths and Legends of the Indians of the Southwest (Hopi, Acoma, Tewa, and Zuni)
Myths and Legends of the Indians of the Southwest (Navajo, Pima, and Apache)
Native Americans: Games-Puzzles-Activities (Time Travel Books)
Navajo, The (A New True Book)
Navajo Design Book, The (coloring)
Navajo Indian Book, The (coloring)
Navajo Sandpainting Art
Nez Perce, The (A New True Book)
North American Indian Arts (Golden Guide)
North American Indian Design Coloring Book
North American Indians (coloring album)
North American Indians (Gorsline)
Oneida, The (A New True Book)
Onondaga, The (A New True Book)
Paddle to the Sea
Pawnee, The (A New True Book)
Plains Indian Book (coloring)
Seminole, The (A New True Book)
Seneca, The (A New True Book)
Shoshoni, The (A New True Book)
Sioux, The (A New True Book)
Southwestern Indian Recipe Book
Southwestern Indian Tribes
Tlingit, The (A New True Book)
Totem Poles (to cut out and put together)
Tree in the Trail
Tuscarora, The (A New True Book)
~Magazines, Magazine Articles~
Cobblestone (entire issues, not bound)
“Dine’: The People of the Navajo Nation” (July 1989)
“Joseph, A Chief of the Nez Perce” September 1990)
Cowboys & Indians (in 1 blue binder w/clear cover)
“Mysterious Kachina, The” (May 2001)
“Walking in Beauty” (May 2001)
Kids Discover: (blue binder w/clear cover)
“America 1492” (August/September 1992)
National Geographic (tagboard binder)
“1491: America Before Columbus” (October 1991)
National Geographic (tagboard binder) (Entire Issue) (November 1982)
“Anasazi: Riddles in the Ruins, The”
“Inside the Sacred Hopi Homeland”
“Making of America: A New Map Series”
Ranger Rick (blue binder w/clear cover)
“Return of the Spirit Masks” (November 1989)
1. Drying fish (Northwest Coast)
2. Klukwan girl (w/totem poles)
3. Kwakiutl village
(Plains Sioux series of 8)
5. Chief American Horse & wife (Oglala Sioux)
6. “Preparation for Dinner” (Plains Indian women)
7. Sioux Indian praying for new vision
8. Sioux Indian woman (w/teepee)
9. Sioux Indian women w/travois
10. Sioux medicine man designing buffalo hide
11. Sitting Bull (Hunkpapa Sioux)
12. Sitting Bull w/great-granddaughter
(Southeast series of 1)
13. Seminole family
(Southwest series of 4)
14. Hopi basket weaver
15. Navajo family and winter hogan
16. Navajo weaver
17. Taos Pueblo
18. Beaded & quilled pouches, Northern Plains Indians
19. Navajo medicine man, “Saltwater”
20. Navajo weavers (in front of hogan)
21. San Ildefonso Pueblo Feast Day, Animal Dance
22. Sioux Indian children
23. Western Apache burden basket, ca. 1900
Apache burden basket (miniature) (Southwest)
*Cherokee beaded leather bolo necklace (Eastern Woodlands) (* in 1 pkg)
*Cherokee beaded leather headband
Hopi Pueblo coiled basket (flat meal tray) (Southwest)
Jemez Pueblo pottery (Southwest)
Native American foods (4 samples) (in 1 pkg)
Navajo Kachina dolls (3) (Southwest)
Navajo rug (Southwest) (corn & yei design)
Navajo sheep’s wool (Southwest)
Navajo soft sculpture doll (Southwest)
Navajo squaw necklace (choker) (Southwest)
Pueblo moccasins (pair) (authentic) (Southwest)
Seminole Indian doll (Southeast)
Totem pole (reproduction)
*Beaded pendant (pectoral) necklace (Southwest) (* in 1 pkg)
Buffalo horn (S. Dakota)
Cochiti Pueblo drum & drumstick (Southwest)
*Corn necklaces (2) (Southwest)
Hopi Pueblo Kachina dolls (2) (Southwest)
Lakota Sioux 5-strand bone choker necklace (Plains) (S. Dakota)
Navajo cedar berry ghost beads (Southwest)
Navajo ceremonial rattle (Southwest)
Navajo dream catcher (Southwest)
Navajo sandpaintings (2) (Southwest)
Part of buffalo hide (S. Dakota)
Part of deer pelt
*Pipestone owl necklace (chipped on one ear)
Sagebrush smudge stick (Southwest)
Simulated buffalo headdress (Plains)
*Squash seed necklace
Taos Pueblo tomahawk (Southwest)
34. Baskets of the Southwest / (info on back)
35. Hopi Kachina Dolls / (info on back)
36. Hopi Pottery / (info on back)
“Indians of the Eastern Woodlands”
“Indians of the Northwest”
“Indians of the Southwest”
“More than Bows and Arrows”
“Nomadic Indians of the West” (Plains)
Eight Northern Indian Pueblos (1994 Official Visitor’s Guide)
From This Earth: Pottery of the Southwest
1. “Indians of North America” (laminated) (1979)
2. “Indians of South America” / “Archaeology of South America”
“Making of America” (series of 8):
3. “Alaska” / “5 Eras”
4. “Central Rockies” / “4 Eras”
5. “Central Plains” / “5 Eras”
6. “Far West” / “5 Eras”
7. “Northern Plains” / “5 Eras”
8. “Pacific Northwest” / “5 Eras”
9. “Southwest, The” / “3 Eras”
10. “Texas” / “5 Eras”
11. “Native American Heritage: A Visitor’s Guide” / “Indian America: What You Can Visit Today”
12. “Native Americans” / (listings of individuals, tribes, study sources, etc.)
13. “Native Americans: Tribes by Region”
14. “North American Indians” (American Museum of the Cherokee Indian)
15. “North American Indians: Native American Tribal Groups at Contact and Their Cultural Areas” / “North American Indian Tribes and Their Dwellings”
16. “Southwest USA” / “Southwest USA: Land of the Open Sky”
17. “Cahokia Mounds” / Cahokia Mounds, Collinsville”
18. “Guide to Chaco Canyon, A” / “Chaco”
19. “Mesa Verde” / “Mesa Verde: The World of the Anasazi”
20. “Pecos: The People of Pecos” / “Pecos” (Pecos National Historical Park)
21. “Buffalo Standing in Snow”
22. “Corn Husk Doll” (directions on how to make) (mounted)
23. “Indian Homes”
24. “Indians of North America”
25. “Make a Woodlands Home”
26. “Nambe Pueblo Girl” (Southwest – N. Mexico) (mounted on foamboard)
27. “Native American Arts and Crafts”
28. “Native American Ceremonies and Beliefs”
29. “Native American Horse” / (info on back) (mounted)
30. “Pueblo Time Line”
31. “Santa Clara Pueblo Deer Dance” (Southwest – N. Mexico) (mounted on foamboard)
32. “Tribal Face Painting” (hand drawn on yellow background)
33. “Uses of the Buffalo” (mounted)
At best this is an abbreviated history of the Native Americans, but not Native Floridians. Early European settlers found many Indian tribes in the southeast who were later called "The Creek Confederacy." In these early times it was difficult to label a group of Indians as a nation, tribe or band. The Indians were given all kinds of names, usually depending upon the mood of the white settler. Studies have shown that the Indians seldom, if at all, referred to themselves when talking amongst themselves by the names given to them by the European settlers.
This applied equally to the indigenous Florida Indians. The principal groups were the Timucua in the northeast, the Apalachee in the northwest, the Calusa (Caloosa, Coloosa, Caluse, Calos, Carlos, etc.) in the southwest and the Tequesta in the southeast. It is estimated that the total indigenous Florida Indians exceeded 100,000 at the time of Ponce de Leon.
The Spanish brought with them the word "Cacique," now pronounced Ka-SEEK-kay, meaning chief. It is believed by most to have been an Arawak Indian word from the islands. The Spanish usually used the words rey (King), jefe (chief or boss) or commandante (commander) when referring to Spanish chiefs.
About 10,000 BC Florida’s first people arrived south of the continent's glacier fields to a land hospitable and with an easy food supply. These people are referred to as Paleo-Indians.
Archaeologists proceed through three later periods (Archaic, Woodland and Mississipian) to begin the Historic Period in AD 1500. At this time we begin to get a few written glimpses of the geography and the people of the New World. For this article the native people in 1500 AD will be referred to as the indigenous Indians. The spellings of their names varied greatly from writer to writer.
The groups of indigenous Florida people (Indians) were given names such as Apalachee, Timucan, Tocobaga, Calusa, Tequesta, Matecumbe, etc. These were the people that De Soto, Ponce de Leon, Fontaneda, etc. encountered and wrote of in the early 1500s. The name Seminole was not mentioned.
The indigenous Indians immediately to the north of Florida were given names such as Creek, Mikasuki, Yamassee, Yuchi, Oconee, Guale, Eufala, etc. There was no mention of the Seminoles there either.
From AD 1500 to 1600 there were primarily exploratory expeditions, slavers and shipwrecked Europeans in North America except for St. Augustine and Pensacola. Remember however, there were extensive European invasions from Mexico to South America.
Beginning with Jamestown, permanent groups of English colonizers came to North America. You know the story. The Native Americans were forced to migrate away from the invading Europeans. Since they could walk farther than they could swim, they generally migrated westward.
At first in the south the Europeans were not interested in areas where there were not deep water seaports and where the “fevers” were prominent. Therefore, the indigenous Florida Indians more or less had 99 percent of Florida land.
By the 1700s Europeans had migrated into present-day Carolinas, Georgia, Tennessee and Alabama areas. The prehistoric Florida Indians were significantly reduced in number by disease and early Spanish slavery.
We will never know exactly, but in the early 1700s a significant sized group of northern Indians moved to Florida. The groups' names vary; however, a 1716 group of Yamassee Indians from present-day Georgia is well documented. From then on Indians north of Florida began colonizing Florida just as the Europeans colonized their former lands.
Georgia had formed a buffer area until the formation of the new English Colony of Georgia in 1732. This forced even greater numbers of southeastern natives to flee generally westward. Some chose to separate, or detach themselves, from the general westward migration and go southward. Florida was close, easy to get to and there was little resistance. North Florida had many rivers flowing from north to south and in desperation, down these rivers they migrated.
The prehistoric Florida Indians, who had been here for centuries, either were killed, taken as slaves, died of disease, or absorbed into the new northern tribes. Spain more or less had protected the Indians if they left the few Spanish settlements alone, or would be candidates for Christian conversion.
This separation of the Carolina, Georgia and Alabama Indians could have given rise to the name Seminole. The Creek word ishi semoli literally means “the people whom the Sun God does not love.” Actual use is more like a separatist, seceder, runaway or a wildness. The word also could have come from the Spanish word Cimarron, a domesticated animal that has returned to the wild. Those who separated and came to Florida became known as Seminoles. They could have even been named by their northern relatives, or even themselves.
It appears that this entire group became Seminoles just as all the Europeans became known as Americans- by definition and usage. Both were an amalgam of many different blood relations and languages, but were a kind of socio-political alliance as well as with familial, cultural and linguistic ties. The Seminole Alliance would have been a better descriptive name, as they were composed of many Indian tribes. Seminole did not indicate a blood lineage as did Mikasuki, Yuchi, Oconee, Yamassee, etc. There were also two different dialects of a common language stock, Muskogee and Hitchiti. Muskogee was used for treaties, conferences and trade contracts. This was a problem for the Mikasuki and others, who spoke Hitchiti. All tribal and individual names were given by the white men.
The first official written use of the word “Seminole” that I find was by British Superintendent of Indian Affairs of the Southern District, John Stuart, in 1771. John Stuart did not list the Seminoles in his earlier 1764 treatise. (This is rather late in time so it would be a good research project for some one if it were used in an earlier time.)
In 1763, Spain traded all of Florida to England for the return of Havana which it had captured. It is generally believed that all the remaining indigenous Florida Indians went to Cuba with the Spanish when the government changed. However, there were probably some who had intermarried with the Seminoles, or some who remained in the Everglades or Keys. Also probable, of those who went to Cuba, a few returned by way of the Keys. Anyway, the new native Floridian was not native to Florida at all. The fact that they were not indigenous, that Florida was not their native land, was constantly argued by the Florida whites to move them out.
Therefore, writings of Florida and Keys Indians before 1700 generally refer to the indigenous Florida Indians e.g., Calusa, Matecumbe, Tequesta, Tocobaga, Timucan, etc. After the late 1700s writings should refer to the Seminole Alliance e.g., Mikasuki, Creek, Yamassee, Yuchi, Oconee, etc. In between 1700 and the late 1700s, they could be one or the other, or both, but more likely the Seminole as the indigenous were small in numbers and decreasing almost daily. The Seminole Alliance groups had penetrated most of Florida by 1760. An example is the nine Spaniards who were attacked at Key West by a band of 48 Yuchis in February 1762.
We should not ignore the Negro contingent of the Seminoles. Many were runaway slaves from such notable African tribes as the Ibo, Egba, Senegalese and the famed Ashanti. They also migrated to Florida and the “Seminoles” generally protected them. At the time Florida became a territory in 1821, there were about 34 Seminole settlements - 31 Indian and 3 Negro.
By the time of the American Revolution in 1776, a large group of Lower Creeks (Seminoles) had forged as far south as the northeast area of present-day Tampa.
In 1783, the British returned ownership of Florida to Spain to prevent control by the U.S., but Spain was now a weak, war-weary nation. Spain could no longer protect the Florida borders. The Indians moved farther into central and southern Florida, as the Europeans primarily wanted the coastline for seaports. More Free Negroes and runaway Negro slaves poured into Florida. The Spanish did little concerning this border conflict. The Seminoles actually prospered during the English period. They traded effectively with the British and the Spanish.
In the war of 1812, the Creeks again sided with the English. General Andrew Jackson severely trounced the Creeks in the Creek War (1813-1814) that quickly followed. At the Battle of Horseshoe Bend on March 27, 1814 under the command of Jackson, the Creeks ceded two-thirds of their land. Large numbers of the Creek “Red Stick” tribe escaped into Florida. This caused the existing Florida Indians to have even less living area. The total Indian population of Florida was estimated at 6,000, but no one knows.
The First Seminole War (1817-1818) was precipitated when a Seminole chief named Neamathla warned U.S. troops not to trespass on their hunting grounds. About 250 soldiers responded to his warning by attacking the Indian village. The Indians retaliated attacking a boatload of 40 soldiers and the war was on. Again, General Jackson intervened and was victorious. The next 50 years of war was disastrous for the Seminoles.
At that time Florida was under the control of Spain. In 1819, Spain ceded Florida to the U.S. for $5 million to settle damage claims by American citizens lodged against Spain. After the treaty was ratified by Congress, Secretary of State John Quincy Adams issued to General Jackson on March 12, 1821 three commissions as Florida’s military governor: (1) receive, possess and occupy the ceded lands, (2) to govern Florida, (3) and to establish a territorial government. All of these required dealing with the Seminoles.
On September 6, 1823 near St. Augustine 70 Seminole chiefs met with Florida’s new governor, William DuVal, to discuss their removal. The Seminoles were officially recognized as an Indian Nation. They were sent to a reservation in central Florida.
Therefore, at the time that Florida became U.S. property the Seminoles had only been in Florida some 120 years. They were Native Americans, but not Native Floridians.
As a foreword to the about to be Florida Wars, treaties written in English will be made and broken by both sides. Unrealistic Indian reservations will be established with little or no specific support from either side. Trouble will brew everywhere. When it does, many career army officers will not want to come to Florida, as it was not considered career duty. The civilians will not like the military and vice-versa, but both will agree - the Indians had to leave. The civilians will have to be ordered not to sell liquor to the soldiers. The Seminoles will start out organized, but this quickly disappears, however, the whites will remain somewhat organized.
The Treaty of Moultrie Creek in 1823 shortly after statehood created a reservation of four million acres in central Florida south of Ocala, but the treaty did not satisfy either side. A drought in 1827 forced the Indians outside of their Florida reservation boundaries. At a conference on May 20, 1827, the Seminole Indians again rejected a treaty to move west of the Mississippi River.
Congress passed the Indian Removal Act to do so. The Treaty of Fort Gibson in 1833 specified that the Indians had three years to move to Oklahoma. This lead to the separation of the Seminoles (The Trail of Tears) into the Oklahoma and those who remained, the Florida Seminoles. Also in 1833, Osceola emerged as an important Seminole leader.
There are many pros and cons about the effectiveness of Osceola's leadership; at any rate, in June of 1835 there was an Indian-military skirmish at Hickory Sink near Gainesville, Florida. Then in August, a military courier named Private Dayton was killed near Fort Brooke (Tampa). Indian Agent Wiley Thompson set December 1, 1835 as the final date for Seminole Indians to sell their cattle before moving. Charlie Emathla (Tuko-see Mathla) brought his cattle in and was ambushed while returning home. Osceola and the Mikasuki were blamed for this act. Emathla's money and goods were left to show that robbery was not the motive.
It all came to a head on December 28, 1835, with two events. First, Major Francis Dade, who had recently been transferred from Key West, was en route with two companies from Fort Brooke (Tampa) to Fort King (Ocala). They were ambushed near Bushnell, Florida and 108 soldiers were killed. Second, Indian Agent Thompson and others were killed at Fort King as they strolled after dinner.
Two days later, General Clinch was attacked crossing the Withlacoochee River. These and other incidents led to the Second Seminole War (1835 - 1842).
The Second Seminole War was by far the most significant of the three Seminole Wars. It must be remembered that the Indian lands were constantly being taken from them, treaties made in a language they could not read much less understand; then blatantly broken. The principle difficulty at this time was the insistence that all Seminoles be moved to the Oklahoma Territory Indian Reservation to live among their life-long enemies in a completely alien environment. At this time, there were still about 6,000 Seminoles in Florida. Those that remained became the Florida Seminoles.
Closer to the Keys, on January 6, 1836, the family of William Cooley was killed at their home on the New River (Fort Lauderdale). Cooley himself was away from home at the time. As a result of this hostile atmosphere, the Cape Florida lighthouse keeper John DuBose took his family to Indian Key and then to Key West. Many other Keys families also fled to Key West for protection. Indian Key, with six cannons, petitioned for additional protection. When the petition fell through its inhabitants decided to remain. Indian Key, Key Vaca and Key West were the principal settlements in the Keys at this time.
On July 23, 1836, Cape Florida's assistant lighthouse keeper Irwin Thompson and Aaron Carter, a Negro, were attacked and driven into the lighthouse. The Indians set fire to the wooden door and stairs, and Thompson and Carter climbed out onto the catwalk to survive. Thompson threw a keg of gunpowder down the inside and almost extinguished the fire. Carter was killed. Thompson was rescued by the crew of the ship Motto and recovered in Key West.
A short time later, the Indians destroyed the unattended garden of the Carysfort lightship keeper on Key Largo. They then moved south to attack the schooner Mary near Tavernier. In 1837, they shot and killed Captain John Whalton and one crewman of the Carysfort Lightship when they came ashore for fuel wood.
Commodore Alexander Dallas, commander of the West Indies Squadron, temporarily set up at Cape Florida until he could build a fort on the mainland. The fort was named Fort Dallas. The army resented a Fort being named after a naval officer. Lieutenant Colonel Harney and his 2nd Dragoons also used the fort while pursuing Chief Chekika after the Indian Key raid.
The Indians of south Florida had traded with the Spanish from early times. Many spoke Spanish fluently. Part of the trading was participating in the wrecking activities along the coasts. Because of their association with Cuba, this group was sometimes referred to as "Spanish Indians," and Chief Chekika was probably their last leader.
On July 23, 1839, Chief Chekika with about 160 warriors surprised Lt. Col. Harney's Dragoons on the Caloosahatchee River. The Colonel and 14 soldiers escaped. This was probably the first specific incident that was definitely ascribed to the "Spanish Indians." Some of the earlier episodes could have been their doings also.
On August 7, 1840, Chekika led about 17 canoes loaded with Indians on an attack of Indian Key. Dr. Perrine and six others were killed and the island sacked, looted and burned. Lt. McLaughlin of Tea Table Key had deployed his forces to Florida’s west coast, so only the sick and a few caretakers remained on the Key for defense.
Col. Harney, who was then at Fort Dallas, gladly accepted the assignment to hunt down Chekika, after barely escaping with his life on the Caloosahatchee River. With 16 canoes, he surprised Chekika in the Everglades and killed him.
Slowly, the Florida Seminoles were being severely reduced as an effective force. One of their leaders, Osceola, had been captured while under a flag of truce. Thirty-three other outstanding Florida Seminoles, including Principal Chief Micanopy and Wild Cat, were tricked and imprisoned the same way. Osceola died in prison in Fort Moultrie, South Carolina.
The U.S. forces with about 5,000 troops continued their efforts. By March of 1841, all of the citizen soldiers were dismissed and on August 14, 1842, Col. Worth, in conferences at Fort King and Cedar Key, announced the war was over. Until the Vietnam War, this was the U.S.’ s longest war. It too did not end in a decisive victory.
The total U.S. cost of the war is estimated at $40 million and about 1,600 military deaths. The Florida Seminoles probably never had more than 1,500 warriors. They were scattered about Florida with most of those remaining being driven into the Everglades. Make no mistake, the federals sent some of their most qualified to win the war. The list includes "Old Rough and Ready" Zachary Taylor and "Old Fuss and Feathers" Winfield Scott.
The brutality of war notwithstanding, there were Florida's gains at the expense of Indian losses: considerable exploration and mapping; many trails and roads established throughout; many forts that served as starting points for towns; considerable amount of dollars spent. The money was spent directly and indirectly through employment of civilians, and payment for rent, food, supplies and relief. Another Florida benefit of the Indian war was the Armed Occupation Act of 1842, which gave homestead rights to white civilians.
Following the Second Seminole War there were about 500 Florida Seminoles remaining. A two and one half million acre “hunting and planting” preserve was established in the Lake Okeechobee area. The principal chief was Billy Bowlegs and Sam Jones could be called the second in command. In 1849 there were two acts of violence on the part of five Seminole renegades. This elicited quite a scare of another Indian War, however it was settled by the Seminoles indicating their desire for peace.
Then in December of 1855 a party of U.S. reconnaissance surveyors were mapping the Seminole reserve in the Big Cypress. They came across a Seminole farm and for some reason destroyed all the banana trees, at least they were the ones blamed. Chief Billy Bowlegs retaliated by wounding and killing several soldiers and the officer in charge.
This became known as the Third Seminole War (1855 - 1858) whose center of action was mostly in the Fort Meade, Florida and Big Cypress areas. The U.S. pressed about 1,500 soldiers (regular plus militia) into service against the approximate 100 Seminole warriors. This and others were more or less Vietnam type wars. Colonel Loomis declared the war over on May 8, 1858. Billy Bowlegs and 163 others had been sent west. Sam Jones remained hidden in the Everglades with about 200 men, women and children. Both sides had about the same number of dead.
I know of no specific attacks in the Keys, however as you can imagine, after the Second Seminole War fear of another raid similar to Indian Key spread throughout the Keys. Dr. Joe Knetsch of Tallahassee has been providing us with documentation of these concerns and actions.
There is mention of a fourth Seminole War (1880s), but it was not a war. The Florida Seminoles appeared to have just disappeared into the Everglades from 1860 to 1880. A few came out to trade and peace seemed to be at hand. In the 1880s a group of white men were fired upon by an alleged band of Seminoles in the Everglades. United States troops were dispatched from the West, but nothing much became of the incident.
By 1908, the Florida Seminole population was given as 275. Since they were no longer a threat, broke and had little land of value; the hate, greed and prejudice began to disappear. By an act of Congress in June of 1924, all Indians were given citizenship status. The Florida Seminole were divided into those who lived near Lake Okeechobee, the Cow Creek division, and those who lived in the Big Cypress, Everglades and Tamiami Trail, the Cypress division.
The Florida Seminoles were granted various reservations such as the Hollywood, Brighton, Big Cypress and Mikasuki on the Tamiami Trail. The Mikasuki officially became a separate tribe (as they always were) by a federal law in 1962. The spelling was changed to Miccosukee at that time. John Lee Williams spelled it Mickasooke in 1837.
Before closing, one should remember that about two-thirds of the generic Seminoles remain west of the Mississippi River.
Only traces of the Black Seminoles remain. Some were transported to the Bahamas by wreckers. Tavernier Key was a popular embarkation point. Many went to Oklahoma Territory and then on to Mexico, etc.
Many Blacks arrive in Florida, mostly as runaway slaves from the Carolinas, and later Georgia and Alabama. These Seminole Negroes played a significant part throughout the ensuing Seminole Wars and the removal to Indian Territory.
Lower Creeks (Miccosukees) begin migration into north Florida.
First Creek (Seminole) settlements in Bay area.
Osceola born in Tallahassee, Alabama. He moves to Florida with his mother and great uncle, around 1814.
Beginning of the Creek War–Upper Creeks (Muskogees) begin migrating into Florida.
Thlonoto-Sassa settled by approximately 200 Seminoles.
September 18, 1823
Treaty of Moultrie Creek signed.
Fort Brooke established as one of the United States government forts charged with watching over "problems" between Seminoles and white settlers.
United States government decides removal of all Indians in Florida to the Indian Territory in the West (present day Oklahoma) was the best solution to continued conflict between the Seminoles and white settlers. In 1834, 3,824 Indians were removed west.
January 30, 1838
Osceola dies of illness at Fort Moultrie, South Carolina.
Opening of the Tamiami Trail, which cuts through the Everglades. Once hidden Semi-nole villages become accessible to large numbers of tourists and developers.
First state reservation, consisting of 99,200 acres of forbidding wilderness in the Ten Thousand Islands region of Florida is established.
Big Cypress Reservation – 104,800 acres of swamp and marsh is set aside. More than half was taken back by the government in 1951 for a drainage project.
Seminole Tribe of Florida incorporated.
Miccosukee Tribe of Indians of Florida incorporated.
Tampa Seminole Reservation founded.
First Seminole War – Andrew Jackson's army destroys crops, steals livestock, and destroys Negro forts in the Apalachicola and Suwannee River regions.
February 22, 1819
The United States Senate ratifies a treaty with Spain to take possession of Florida.
Spanish government ratifies treaty, finally turning over Florida to the United States.
September 18, 1823
Treaty of Moultrie Creek signed.
Fort Brooke established as one of the United States government forts charged with watching over "problems" between Seminoles and white settlers.
United States government decides removal of all Indians in Florida to the Indian Territory in the West (present day Oklahoma) was the best solution to continued conflict between the Seminoles and white settlers. By 1834, 3,824 Indians had been removed to the west.
December 28, 1835
Murder of Indian agent Wiley Thompson by Osceola. That same day, Major Francis Dade and his troops are ambushed by 300 Seminole warriors near Fort King (Ocala), starting the Second Seminole War – beginning of mass removal of the Seminoles to the Indian Territory.
June or July, 1837
Capture of Osceola under false flag of truce.
January 30, 1838
Osceola dies at Fort Moultrie, South Carolina.
End of the Second Seminole War – By the end of the war, 4,420 Seminoles had surrendered and been deported to the west.
Third Seminole War, also known as the Billy Bowlegs' War. Billy Bowlegs and his family are removed to the Indian Territory west of Texas. Only about 300 Seminoles remained in Florida, almost exclusively in the Everglades.
U.S. acquired Florida from Spain.
Colonel James Gadsden and Bernardo Segui appointed treaty commissioners.
Treaty of Moultrie Creek - September 18, 1823 – created an Indian reservation extending 30 miles north of Tampa Bay, but no nearer than 15 miles from the Gulf of Mexico or 20 miles from the Atlantic Ocean.
November 4, 1823 – President James Monroe approved the establishment of a military post at Tampa Bay.
January 2, 1824 – Colonel Brooke and Colonel Gadsden arrive to establish post – "Cantonment Brooke."
June, 1824 – The fort is completed.
A U.S. Army Headquarters during the Second Seminole War.
Soldiers quartered at Ft. Brooke during the Third Seminole War.
The Seminoles survived by hunting and fishing. They constructed simple shelters of thatched roofs supported by poles. The clothing of the Seminoles was decorated with bright colored pieces of cloth as an imitation of the clothing worn by the Spanish.
From the 1920's onward, development burst in Southern Florida. The Seminoles lost hunting land to tourists and settlers. They were gradually forced into the wage labor economy. They become agricultural workers and attracted tourists with their exciting and colorful patchwork clothing.
Much of the traditional Seminole culture is dependent on a healthy ecosystem. Tribal members believe that if the land dies, so will the tribe. Seminole environmental projects are now designed to protect and preserve the land and water systems.
Miccosukee Appeal To ‘Public’ For Help!
The executive Council of the Miccosukee Tribe of Seminole Indians, in an unprecedented action, appealed to the American public for help.
In a letter they issued to the public they wrote:
To the American people; Our unconquered Miccosukee Seminole Nation is asking the American people for help.
We want the American people to be told what is being done to our people. That the United States, and the state of Florida are trying again to push our people off our Everglades homeland.
We hope the American people will do something to help our people once they hear the truth. Over 100 years ago our forefathers fought and died to save our home country. You call this the Seminole Wars. The whole United States army could not conquer our people. They tried all kinds of tricks and even trapped our Chief Osceola under a white flag of truce and held him till he rotted in a federal dungeon. After that, in 1939, the America public, and a brave Ohio Congressman rose up and came to our aid. They became disgusted with the bare-faced federal policy of kill and grab by brute force and public opinion forced the United States to send the commanding General of the United States army, Alexander McComb, to Florida to make a peace treaty with our people. He promised to leave our people alone to live in peace forever on our Everglades land, our great-grandfathers signed this treaty, and for over 100 years our people lived in peace on our land under it. Then we recently discovered the United States was refusing to honor this treaty. The federal government is still trying all different ways to push us off our land. In 1950 they even went so fat as to encourage the filing of fake claims in the United States Indian Claims Commission, to make it look like our people wanted to sell our land, and would take money for it. These claims are still there today. They will take away our homes, but to this government bureau they are just 73 and 73A. In 1954 our council finally protested these injustices to President Eisenhower in our Buckskin Declaration, which we heard he still keeps in his private museum. We asked him to send his special representative to negotiate with our people an agreement that would once and for all let us live in peace on our land.
For over six years our councils negotiated in good faith with President Eisenhower’s special representative, and we thought agreements had been made, because some of them were signed by the United States Secretary of Interior himself in 1960. Then the United States got a new President, John Kennedy and we heard good things about him. He said good things about the rights of small countries and the right of self determination. He spoke like a man of honor and integrity.
But his Secretary of Interior Udall turned out to be one of the greatest enemies of our people 100 years ago.
We do not have words to describe what he is doing – except the words written by United States Congressman, Joshua Giddings 100 years ago is exactly true again. In his book, "The Exiles of Florida", he said:
"Florida was purchased; Treaties with the Florida Indians were made and violated; gross frauds were perpetrated; dishonorable expedience were resorted. . . bribery and treachery were practiced towards. . . The Seminoles; flags of truce were violated; the pledged faith of the nation was disregarded. "Men who wielded the influence of government for the consummation of these crimes, assiduously labored to suppress all knowledge of their guilt; to keep the facts from the popular mind; to falsify history of current events, and prevent an exposure of our national turpitude."
These things are being done to us again now.
After years of negotiating and agreements they are still trying to push us off our land push through a fake claim of some lawyers that some reservation Indians want to sell our land. They haven’t gone to so much trouble since 1832 when they made a fake treaty at Paynes Landing.
Our people retreated into the Everglades, and we believed we had a treaty with the U.S. government that said they would leave us alone in our homes there. In the past ten years we discovered this wasn’t so. We found out that federal that federal bureau people in Washington were trying to work it so that the treaties the U.S. Signed with our great grandfathers a hundred years ago would be gotten around. We found that they were trying to get Indians to sell the Miccosukee Seminoles land.
In 1957, our Miccouskee people who had always refused to live on reservations and be told what to do by Indian bureau agents organized our Miccosukee tribe. If you are an Indian and live on a reservation a white our half-breed Indian agent has the power to tell you what to do, and the state or federal government has the right to take away your land, any time they want, for power lines or anything.
When we reorganized our tribe, President Eisenhower's Secretary of Interior Seaton told us that we couldn’t organize under what he called the Indian Reorganization Act because we did not live on a reservation but he did officially recognize our tribe. He said if we went on a reservation, or got together with reservation Indians who were organizing to get money, we would get money for this and that from the government. But all we wanted was our land, with assurance that our people could have it and live on it, for as long as there is a Miccosukee tribe of Seminole Indians.
President Eisenhower’s Secretary of Interior also said we would have to be on a reservation to get federal benefits and protections.
But now, under President John F. Kennedy, an Indian agent has been sent to the Everglades to organize a small group of Miccouskee Seminoles who do not live on the reservation. They never sent an agent before, it sounds like what happened a hundred years ago, when "bribery and treachery were practiced towards the Seminoles."
Secretary of Interior Udall’s Indian Agent is now trying to set up a third tribe, is offering them various "federal benefits" from a "revolving loan fund" of the Interior Bureau and doing it without a reservation. This agent says that the recognition given our tribe by Secretary of Interior Seaton was illegal. To some hungry Miccosukee Indians off the reservations this has looked so good that they are going along with Udall’s Indian Agent to set up this third tribe that can receive handouts.
On December 17, Udall’s Indian Agent is going to get this group of Indians to stage an election to set up this third tribe, which has agreed to take money instead of land. Because there are so few of them we hear they are even borrowing Indian’s from the other reservation tribe in Dania to make it look like a real election. After the so-called election, we can see they will try to tell the world our tribe has agreed to sell our land for money when it is not.
But what we, the council of the Miccosukees do not understand is this: When we reorganized in 1957 the Indian Bureau people said:
"You can’t get any federal handouts if you don’t organize under the federal reorganization act, and you can’t do that unless you live on a reservation."
We said, as we always did, "We don’t want handouts, we want our land, and we don’t and won’t live on a reservation on welfare."
Now they say, to this third tribe they are trying to organize under the Indian Reorganization Act: We’ll help you with loans.
We know from our children who have been to U.S. schools about the idea of "divide and conquer." We appealed to President Kennedy about this policy two months ago. He didn’t answer at all. Our only hope now lies with the American people.
There must be someone who will help us.
The Executive Council
U.S. PLANNING 3rd FLA. TRIBE
"The U.S. Interior Dept. is pushing ahead with its plans to organize a third tribe of puppet Indians in an effort to wreck the many years of negotiations and agreements with our Miccosukee Tribe," charged Homer Osceola, Co-Chairman of the Miccosukee Tribal Executive Council.
"We predicted this when we gave this story to the newspapers last October.
They obviously plan to try to trick the public into believing that what their puppets do has been authorized by our Miccosukee Tribe.
"If they go through with this shenanigan, it will be the biggest fraud on the Seminoles since the fake so-called treaty of Paynes Landing over 100 years ago. And we want the American public to know what is going on here."
DEC. 17 ELECTION A WASH-OUT
Fla. Everglades. The so-called election called by the Tiger family on December 17 in their effort to organize a third tribe turned out to be a complete failure. Only 27 Indians turned out to vote, out of the 300 they claimed. Of these 27, four were reliably reported to be members of the Seminole Tribe in Dania, and ineligible to vote. Earlier this week, R. C. Miller, Interior agent, had stated that no member of the Seminole Tribe would be eligible to vote in this so-called election. Prior to the election, Miller was very evasive when questioned about so-called absentee ballots. At first he said there were 11, then 14. Of the 14, 8 were discovered to be members of the Seminole Tribe in Dania, ineligible to vote. And 4 of those allegedly casting an absentee ballot were seen in the vicinity of where the election was taking place, some of whom denied they were participants in the election.
According to Miccosukee Tribal Councilman John Osceola, there were, in his words, "12 borrowed voters from the other Tribe in Dania". Photographs of the three of these "borrowed voters were taken by the Seminole Indian News, and appear at the right of this page. From top to bottom, they are Jack Kelly, Johnny White and Stanley Frank (running to avoid the camera).
Pictured above, smiling jubilantly, are Miccosukee Tribal leaders Bill Osceola, Billie Doctor, and John Osceola (L-R), who were non-participating observers. Although happy over the outcome, they feared the U.S. Interior Dept. would try to go ahead with a 3rd tribe with or without a legal election. Pictured below is the home of two of the Indians who allegedly cast "absentee ballots", located inside the election area. Miller could show no regulation pertaining to the casting of the so-called absentee ballots. Tribal Councilman John Osceola said, "As far as I am concerned, they tried every way they knew to rig their election. They might have gotten away with it if we hadn't kept a close eye on them!"
Posted by Princessa at 10/04/2007 07:35:00 PM