The Seminole Indians are a tribe of Indians who now have
territory and reservations in Florida and Oklahoma. They
once belonged to the Muskogee tribe that lived along
streams in what are now southern Georgia and Alabama. The
Seminoles moved to Florida and Oklahoma around 1708 when
the white men drove them out of their homes and took their
land. The Seminoles adjusted well to life in Florida.
In the late 1700's and early 1800's Florida was a territory
of Spain, that made the Seminoles Spanish citizens. Like
white men, they had black slaves, but they treated their
slaves with respect. In the early 1800's General Andrew
Jackson attacked the few Seminole villages left in Georgia
and forced most of the Indians to flee to their relatives
in Florida. Among them were a young woman and her son,
Osceola, who would grow up to become a great Seminole
leader. This attack started the First Seminole War.
Florida was sold to the United States by Spain in 1819. In
1823 the Seminoles signed a treaty giving up most of their
land. Once they moved into their new reservations in
Central Florida Andrew Jackson who was president at the
time signed the Indian Removal Act which required all
Seminoles to move to the Indian Territory, which is now
known as Oklahoma. Most of the Seminoles wouldn't go. This
started the Second Seminole War. During the Second Seminole
War many of the Seminoles gave up and went to Oklahoma. The
ones that didn't had to hide deep in the Everglades where
the white men couldn't find them. Osceola was taken
prisoner by the United States government. He died in prison.
The Florida Seminoles never signed a formal peace treaty
with the United States. The Seminole Indians are still
living in reservations in Florida and Oklahoma, The
Seminole Tribe of Florida, Inc., has its headquarters in
Hollywood, Florida, where there is a replica of a
traditional chickee village.
The Seminole Indians have been in what is now The United
States of America for over fifteen thousand years. They
have been through many wars and have had many tragedies
along the way. The Seminoles always were a strong tribe and
continue to be a strong tribe.