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THE SEMINOLE IN AMERICAN HISTORY

The International High School at Lafayette


American History
Mr. Joel
Unit 2 – The Native Americans
Shi Ting and Vlada
INTRODUCTION

The Seminole are a Native Americans tribe originally of Florida, who now reside
primarily in that state and Oklahoma. The word Seminole is a corruption of cimarrón, a

Spanish term for "runaway" or "wild one", historically used for certain Indian groups in

Florida. Seminole culture is largely derived from Creek culture. Most Seminoles speak

the Mikasuki language. The most important ceremony is the Green Corn Dance, which is

celebrated largely as it is among the Creeks; other notable Creek-derived traditions

include use of the black drink and ritual smoking of tobacco. As the Seminole adapted to

the Florida environment, they developed their own local traditions, such as the

construction of open air thatched-roof houses known as chickees.

THE SEMINOLE BEFORE COLUMBUS

Before the Columbians came, Seminoles lived very well. They

worked in groups. They hunted, fished, and farmed. The lived in the

forest, and they found natural resources from the forest. The can use

the wood for fire, spoon and bowls, hunt the animals for food and coats

in the forest, they also built the house and covered it with bark. They

shared food and many things in a group. But they sometimes fought

with other clans.

THE SEMINOLE AFTER COLUMBUS

After the Columbians came, the Seminoles changed a lot. The

Europeans brought food, money and other sources to America, but

they also brought diseases such as smallpox and measles. The

Seminoles didn’t have strong immune system, many of them died from

the diseases. Europeans conquered the lands and their food. In 1830s,

the government even want to moved them to the west of Mississippi


River, where is less food and harder to live. It is called the Removal Act

of 1830. Seminole was one of the Five Civilized Tribes. They had

adopted many features of the new American culture. Many of them

were educated and had developed farms and homes. They didn’t want

to leave. The Seminoles in Florida went to war in 1835, aided by

runaway slaves. After hundreds of the Seminoles were captured and

moved to Indian Territory. Yet, the U.S. Army could not defeat the

Seminoles, so it gave up trying. Some Seminoles chose to move to the

Indian Territory, but others stayed in Florida. By the 1850s, they were

one of the only few groups that remained east of the Mississippi River.

Lots of Seminoles lived in Florida. Andrew Jackson was named military

governor of Florida. As European-American settlement increased,

settlers pressured the Federal government to remove the Seminoles

from Florida. Slaveholders resented that Indian tribes harbored

runaway black slaves, and more settlers wanted access to desirable

Indian lands. The Seminoles also acted to remain their rights, so they

made up the Seminole Wars.

SEMINOLE WARS

After attacks by Spanish settlers on Indian towns, Indians began

raiding Georgia settlements, purportedly at the behest of the Spanish.

In the early 19th century, the U.S. Army made increasingly frequent

incursions into Spanish territory to recapture escaped slaves. General

Andrew Jackson's 1817–1818 campaign against the Seminole Indians


became known as the first Seminole War. In 1832, the United States

government signed the Treaty of Paynes Landing with a few of the

Seminole chiefs. They promised lands west of the Mississippi River if

the chiefs agreed to leave Florida voluntarily with their peoples. The

Seminoles, who remained, prepared for war. White settlers continued

to press for removal. In 1835, the U.S. Army arrived to enforce the

treaty. Seminole leader Osceola led the vastly outnumbered resistance

during the Second Seminole War.

CONTRIBUTION TO U.S. HISTORY

Two important contributions that the Seminoles did to U.S.

history are they lived in Oklahoma and they made farms, grow crops,

feed animals and built house there they made the place more valuable.

And they made their own culture, we can know about the history more

from their oral system.

CONCLUSION

The Seminole are the one of the Native Americans. Before

Columbians they had calm life but after their life were destroyed.

Farming and fishing turns to wars and conflicts. In our days there are

not too many Native Americans but they are still alive. The Seminoles

moved west of Mississippi what is now Oklahoma. The Native

Americans during their life always tried to prove their rights because

they were treated by Columbians, settlers. Also the Seminoles had a

good agriculture before settlers, Columbians came. After that they had
problems with growing crops because of the bad climate at

reservations and not enough water.

WORK CITED

Document 1: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seminole

Document 2:American History P302-304

Document 3: http://www.sonofthesouth.net/american-

indians/seminole.htm