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The Black Seminoles: History of a Freedom-seeking People

ISBN: 9780813044880 | 081304488X
Format: Paperback
Publisher: Univ Pr of Florida
Pub. Date: 5/21/2013

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"A blockbuster . . . [and] a vibrant and exciting history of John Horse and his followers. From the swamps and savannas of Florida to the Indian territory, on to Mexico and finally Texas, these people stood tall in their fight for freedom and dignity. This is a story that has long needed to be told, written in a thought-provoking and sympathetic manner."--Edwin C. Bearss, Historian Emeritus, National Park Service "Reveals, as fully as is likely possible, the meaningful history of the Black Seminole people. . . . A simple narrative, buttressed by solid analysis and innovative research. . . . Will appeal to buff and professional historians alike. . . . African Americans, in particular, will draw inspiration and use from it."--James Irving Fenton, historian, Lubbock, Texas This story of a remarkable people, the Black Seminoles, and their charismatic leader, Chief John Horse, chronicles their heroic struggle for freedom. Beginning with the early 1800s, small groups of fugitive slaves living in Florida joined the Seminole Indians (an association that thrived for decades on reciprocal respect and affection). Kenneth Porter traces their fortunes and exploits as they moved across the country and attempted to live first beyond the law, then as loyal servants of it. He examines the Black Seminole role in the bloody Second Seminole War, when John Horse and his men distinguished themselves as fierce warriors, and their forced removal to the Oklahoma Indian Territory in the 1840s, where John's leadership ability emerged. The account includes the Black Seminole exodus in the 1850s to Mexico, their service as border troops for the Mexican government, and their return to Texas in the 1870s, where many of the men scouted for the U.S. Army. Members of their combat-tested unit, never numbering more than 50 men at a time, were awarded four of the sixteen Medals of Honor received by the several thousand Indian scouts in the West. Porter's interviews with John Horse's descendants and acquaintances in the 1940s and 1950s provide eyewitness accounts. When Alcione Amos and Thomas Senter took up the project in the 1980s, they incorporated new information that had since come to light about John Horse and his people. A powerful and stirring story, The Black Seminoleswill appeal especially to readers interested in black history, Indian history, Florida history, and U.S. military history. Kenneth W. Porter was professor of history at the University of Oregon. Alcione M. Amos is librarian at the World Bank in Washington, D.C. She has done extensive work on African-American military history and has published on the subject of the Black Seminoles in the Florida Historical Quarterly. Thomas P. Senter is a practicing physician in Anchorage, Alaska, who considers Brackettville, Texas, his second home.


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