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
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 Seminoles" will appeal
especially to readers interested in black history, Indian history,
Florida history, and U.S. military history.
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