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In the early 1700's a group of Creek Indians left their homes in Georgia and moved to north and central Florida. They were joined by other groups of Indians from Georgia, Alabama, and South Carolina. In the mid and late 1700's, still other Indians arrived who spoke a different language, Muskogee. These groups were to become known as Seminoles. The word "Seminole" is derived from the Muskogee word "simano-li," taken originally from the Spanish "cimmarron." meaning wild or runaway.

Starting in 1810, the U.S. Government fought three wars against determined groups of Seminole men, women and children who were fighting for their homes and their freedom. The objective of the U.S. Government was to open new lands to white settlers.

HISTORY: The Seminole tribe formed in the 1700s when groups of Southeast Indians fled white encroachment and enslavement and settled in the plains of Spanish-held Florida. In 1817, with the accusation that the Seminole were harboring runaway slaves, Andrew Jackson commanded nearly 3,000 American troops to attack and burn their lands, starting the first Seminole War. Shortly thereafter, Spain ceded Florida to the U.S., bringing the Seminole under U.S. jurisdiction. A treaty later provided the tribe with a reserved tract east of Tampa Bay.

In 1832, the Payne's Landing Treaty took away all Florida land claims from the tribe, and provided for removal to Indian Territory. Ratification of that treaty in 1834 allowed the Seminole three years before the removal was to take place. But under the U.S. government's interpretation, 1835 (not 1837) ended the three-year period prior to removal. The Seminole disagreed, and their bitter opposition resulted in the second, or Great, Seminole War. Among the worst chapters in the history of Indian removal, the war lasted almost seven years and cost thousands of lives.

It finally ended in 1842 with the agreement that several hundred members of the tribe could remain in Florida. In 1856, the Seminole were assigned land in Indian Territory: a part of the Creek country that became known as the Seminole Nation. By 1868, the tribal bands from refugee locations elsewhere in Indian Territory had settled on those lands. Today, the Seminole are recognized as one of the Five Civilized Tribes in Oklahoma.

CULTURE: : Until the first railroad opened in their area in 1895, the Seminole were more isolated than any of the other Five Civilized Tribes. Education played a prominent role in their early life, and by 1868, the Seminole had established four schools in I.T.

LANDMARKS: The Five Civilized Tribes Museum (Muskogee); the Seminole Nation Capitol/Museum (Wewoka); exhibits at Woolaroc (Bartlesville); the State Museum of History (OKC); Gilcrease and Philbrook Museums (Tulsa); the Mekusukey Mission Ground (Seminole).

Current tribal roll: 12,523

Jerry Haney, Principal Chief

Seminole Tribe of Florida
Are the Seminoles "unconquered" as has been sometimes said? Check out the
FAQS page here to decide. This is an informative site, dealing with most
aspects of the Seminoles today. It's an attractive site, as well -- one of
the nicest I've seen in a long time as far as animated graphics go.

Seminole-Negro Indian Scouts
"The Seminole-Negroes were descendants of escaped slaves. They settled among
the Semimole Indians of Florida." Learn about their recruitment as army
scouts, their gallantry, and what became of them.

Black Seminole Indians  - http://www.texasindians.com/bsem.htm
Article on the Seminole-Negro Scouts, a group of US army scouts descended from Seminoles and escaped slaves.

Seminole Nation of Oklahoma  - http://www.cowboy.net/native/seminole/index.html
Official homepage of this Indian tribe provides information on the government and its services as well as some cultural information and links.

The Sovereign Miccosukee Seminole Nation  - http://miccosukeeseminolenation.com
Official homepage of this nation, which claims to be the only truly sovereign Indian nation in North America.

Miccosukee Tribe Home Page  - http://www.miccosukeetribe.com/
Information on the Miccosukee including history and a tour of their tribal village in the Everglades.

The Sovereign Miccosukee Seminole Nation  - http://miccosukeeseminolenation.com
Official homepage of this nation, which claims to be the only truly sovereign Indian nation in North America.