By James W. Covington
"The so much finished account of the background of the Florida Seminoles but undertaken."--John okay. Mahon, writer of History of the second one Seminole War The historical past of the Seminole Indians in Florida embodies an integral part of the tragic background of local and white American clash during the complete usa. Drawing on greatly scattered scholarship, together with the oldest records and lately stumbled on fabric, Covington supplies us a whole account of the Florida Seminoles from their front into the nation virtually 300 years in the past, during the nice chiefdoms of Micanopy, Osceola, and Billy Bowlegs, to the present political fact of democratic elections. (In truth one girl, Betty Mae Jumper, was once elected tribal chairperson in either 1967 and 1969.) After entering into the peninsula from Georgia and Alabama, the Seminoles fought 3 wars opposed to the whites. by means of 1858, on the finish of the ultimate battle, ninety percentage of the tribe have been killed or forcibly got rid of to Oklahoma. those that remained in chickees within the swampy grassland of south Florida comprised one of many final tribes within the nation to continue cultural independence from whites. With the drainage of the Everglades and extension of highways and railroads into the realm, the land the Indians lived on with out felony name turned best actual property, and the Seminoles have been evicted through the recent white proprietors. Covington brings the heritage of the tribe into this century as he describes the start of Seminole relocation to reservations, their participation in global warfare II, the inroads of Christianity within the Forties, and the alterations in tribal schooling, executive, and agriculture and company ventures some time past 3 many years.
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The meeting was held in a pavilion constructed of pine branches for the roof and walls. Grant and Stuart sat at a table facing the open end, and fifty or more Creeks sat on blanket-covered benches. The Lower Creek leaders had advanced into the area bearing a peace pipe, which was passed about the audience. Governor Grant, doing most of the talking through three interpreters, stated his case: The Great King after driving the French and Spanish from this land was most graciously pleased to appoint me to govern the white people in this part of his new conquered dominions.
When the white Americans who controlled Georgia and Alabama proved tough competitors for the Lower Creek trade, Governor Zéspedes and his counterpart, West Florida governor Arturo O'Neill at Pensacola, decided to grant a monopoly of the fur trade to Panton, Leslie; the firm had the necessary know-how, funds, and equipment to handle the job. The selection of the Panton firm came as a result of the visits of Seminole and Page 20 Creek leaders to St. Augustine where Zéspedes, having few presents to give to the delegations, was saved embarrassment by a steady flow of presents advanced on credit by John Leslie.
You will consider that the presents which are now to be given us may last for a year but will afterwards not [last] and [will] become of no value, but the land which we now give will last forever. 61 As Tallechea noted in his talk, the Lower Creeks consented to give up 2 million acres of land in northeastern Florida, a much larger tract than the English had anticipated. The Treaty of Picolata negotiated in 1765 was signed mostly by Lower Creeks from Georgia, for the English believed that the Georgia towns controlled the land and people in Florida.
The Seminoles of Florida by James W. Covington