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A History of Black/Brown Alliances John Horse and the Black Seminole Rebellion Maroon Communities in Mexico and Central America Martin Luther King and.

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Presentation on theme: "A History of Black/Brown Alliances John Horse and the Black Seminole Rebellion Maroon Communities in Mexico and Central America Martin Luther King and."— Presentation transcript:

1 A History of Black/Brown Alliances John Horse and the Black Seminole Rebellion Maroon Communities in Mexico and Central America Martin Luther King and Cesar Chavez AIM and the Black Panthers

2 Yanga and the Maroons of Vera Cruz First maroon community in Mexico, 1618 Raids on surrounding plantations and mines Spanish troops dispatched to destroy him Successful fight against the Spaniards Peace treaty allows formalizing the community at Vera Cruz Other maroon communities in Oaxaca and Northern Mexico, alliances with local indigenous peoples

3 John Horse and the Black Seminoles John Horse, aka, Juan Caballo The only Native American chief never defeated by the US Army Leader of the largest and only successful slave revolt in the US Commissioned officer in the Mexican Army Commissioned by US Army to fight the Apaches and Comanches Virtually unmentioned in US History books: Why?

4 Fort Mose Founded by Spanish Colonial Militia and Runaway slaves from St. Augustine Militia joins Maroon Community in 1687

5 Running to Fort Mose

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7 Battle of Fort Mose, 1740

8 Secret Treaties Washington signs this treaty with the Creek Tribe in 1790 to help hunt down runaway slaves in Florida. Ten of Twelve of the first US Presidents sign similar treaties to deal with the Black Seminole.

9 Seminoles and Slaves Throughout John Horse's youth, Black Seminoles lived in separate, well- armed black communities. Many individual blacks were considered slaves of the leading Indian chiefs, like the principal chief Micanopy, and yet the blacks were able to retain firearms, live apart from their masters, and select their own leaders. Observers in the 1820s and 1830s described Seminole slavery as a mild system, much closer to feudalism than the South's peculiar institution. The system would change in later years, creating serious conflicts between blacks and their Indian masters. Micanopy, 1820s

10 Seminole Slavery Southerners circulated the story the Seminole Slaves controlled their masters. (lithograph, 1863 drawn from that story). Seminole “slavery” was more like the feudal lord/serf relationships and slaves were allowed to live apart and carry guns.

11 Observation of Seminoles and Slaves William Simmons, who visited the Seminole allies prior to writing his 1822 travelogue and who was one of the early outsiders showing the most insight and understanding of them, described African-Seminole relations without trying to decide who controlled whom. Of the Seminoles' treatment of their slaves, he merely wrote that the Indians exercised remarkable kindness and "indulgence," and would not part with their negroes for any amount of money. Payne’s Prairie, Birthplace of John Horse on the Florida Savannah.

12 General Jackson’s First Encounter After the War of 1812 between the U.S. and England, Spanish Florida remained a haven for free blacks and fugitive slaves. By 1815, hundreds of African Americans had taken up residence in the vicinity of the "Negro Fort," a heavily armed fortress on the Appalachicola River in western Florida. American slaveholders considered the fort a dangerous menace to their way of life. In 1816, U.S. General Andrew Jackson ordered a brutal assault to destroy the fort and reduce its inhabitants to chattel slavery.

13 The 2 nd Seminole War, "a Negro, not an Indian war." - American Officer The US Army did not win a single battle in the first year of the war. General Jessup adopts a “divide and conquer” strategy with some success. Lake Okeechobee, Zachary Taylor claims victory, but John Horse wins freedom for the Black Seminole.

14 John Horse Makes Peace The most famous Indian he helped bring in was Coacoochee. By 1841, Coacoochee was considered the prize of the remaining warriors. John Horse arranged the initial peace talks with his old friend in March. The chief arrived dressed as Hamlet, in a costume that he had plundered from itinerant actors the year before. John Horse eventually helps US Army round up remaining Seminole rebels. He talked Coacochee into surrendering, showing up to Coacochee’s camp dressed as Hamlet.

15 John Horse in Mexico John Horse flees Oklahoma in 1849 and run to Mexico. Made an officer in the Mexican Army and helps patrol border, fighting Commanches, Apaches and Filibusters. He returns to US and fights along side US Army in the 1850s. John Horse’s son becomes a Buffalo Soldier in US Army in early 1900s.

16 Legacy of John Horse and the Black Seminoles In the end, whether one believes that John Horse and Abraham were individual heroes, it's still possible to assess the heroism of their community's collective actions. From their earliest roots, Black Seminoles created a safe haven for individuals fleeing American slavery. From the time before the first treaty in U.S. history, the Treaty of New York (1790), to the issuance of the Emancipation Proclamation in 1863, they affected American policy at the highest levels as it related to slavery. During the critical period leading up to the U.S. Civil War, their example inspired firebrands and statesmen, from Joshua Reed Giddings to Frederick Douglass to Abraham Lincoln. And they were among the greatest American pioneers. From Florida to Texas, they broke new ground as farmers, hunters, warriors, soldiers, interpreters and diplomats. And as they pursued their communal interests, they didn't just advance a geographic frontier, they also advanced the frontiers of freedom—tangibly, by contributing a legal precedent for emancipation, and, less tangibly but no less significantly, by furnishing American history with a stirring example of blacks taking up arms to defeat the slave power. Website:


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