The Seminole Tribes

Who are the Seminoles?

The Seminole tribe consists of many different tribes and clans. During the early Europeon colonialization of Florida the native peoples were completely wiped out, through the practices of slavery and warfare. These were the ancient tribes of the Palarches, Eamuses and Kaloosas. The Seminoles are a later migration into the peninsula by peoples of the Mississippi River valley. The French, during their control of the Mississippi, had almost wiped out a large warlike tribe that called this area their home. The people and clans that escaped destruction, had retreated southward to the northern coast of the Gulf of Mexico. Upon reaching the area of what is now western Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, and Florida these people found refuge amongst other people driven south and east by the French. These broken bands were comprised of; Biloxies, Red Sticks, and runaway creeks. This will be the start of the people we now know as Seminoles. M. M. Cohen in his book Notices of Florida and the Campaigns written in 1836, defines the word Seminole in this way

"The word Seminole signifies a wanderer or runaway, or it means a wild people or outsettlers, the ancestors of the tribe having detached themselves from the main body of the Creeks, and dwelt remotely, wherever the inducements of more game, or greater scope for freedom of action, might casually lead them. They settled Florida about 115 years ago [1721]"

The rivalry begins.

Florida was a colony of Spain from 1513 until border confrontations with the English. Starting in 1704, the English started a harassment campaign to drive the Spaniards from Florida the southern border of the American Colonies. An English force based at their southern most outpost, Fort King George, defeated the Spanish and caused Florida to be ceded to the British Empire in 1763, by treaty. During the American Revolutionary War, England had encouraged the Seminole clans of what was known as North Florida to raid farms and plantations inside the Colony of Georgia. These raids brought back the colonialist's slaves to the villages and clans of the Seminole. Some of these acquired slaves over time became accepted members of the Seminole clans and these were known as the Black Seminole or mulattos whereas the people that made up the original Seminole Clans were known as Red Seminole.

In 1784, Florida is ceded back to Spain by England and stays in her hands until approximately the 1820's. During the War of 1812, the British still operated and supplied forts in the Florida frontier that were handed over; to the Seminoles, Creeks, and runaway slaves upon relenquishing their control of Florida back to Spain. These groups in return, actively pursued a guerilla campaign into southern Georgia and the southern frontier settlements. During the Creek War (1813-1814) in Alabama, Gen. Andrew Jackson decided to enter, what was then, Spanish controlled West Florida; West Florida was comprised of everything west of Tallahasee to the eastern border of Louisiana. Jackson had learned of many Creek people retreating to Pensacola; therefore he advanced upon and took said place on the 7th of November 1814. Prior to Jackson's entry into Spanish territory he had informed the Governor of Florida that they had violated nuetrality laws by allowing the British and her confederates to operate forts within her territory. The terms given upon the taking of Pensacola was to order all british garrisons to abandon their forts, this was done and Jackson promptly left Pensacola handing it back over to Spanish control.This would be the final engagement of the Creek War having subdued the last resistant band of Creeks that had fled to Pensacola. Since the Creek were no longer a problem, Jackson now had time to head to New Orleans and make arrangements for her defense against a possible British invasion. This invasion eventually took place on the 8th of January 1815 and was gallantly repulsed by Jackson's forces. Although the Creeks and the British had been dealt with this only marked the beginning of hostilities between the U. S. and the Seminoles.

Reenactors of the Southeastern Tribes

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