180th Anniversary Seminole Spiritual Remembrance

We extend a Special Invitation . . .
To Local, National, and International Spiritual leaders to gather on these Hallowed Grounds.

The Battles of the Loxahatchee River

The two Battles, known as Powell’s Battle and Jesup’s Battle, fought on January 15 and 24, 1838, during the Second Seminole War in Palm Beach County, Florida, pitted a few hundred Native and African American Seminoles against approximately 1,500 U.S. troops and Tennessee Volunteers.  The outnumbered Seminoles were not defeated, but withdrew into the Everglades. Weeks later, they were lured to Fort Jupiter and captured under a flag of truce.  Some of the captives were turned over to “slave catchers,” while most were deported westward on the Trail of Tears, where descendants of the survivors still maintain communities today, in Oklahoma, Texas, and Mexico. The fallen who fought on both sides in these battles are honored and remembered every January at the sacred site of the Battlefield.

Presented by
The Florida Black Historical Research Project, Inc.
in partnership with
Loxahatchee Battlefield Preservationists

Palm Beach County Parks & Recreation Department


Did You Know?

• Africans were in the Americas centuries before Columbus and the “slave trade,” as shown by the research of scholars like Ivan van Sertima and Leo Weiner. Some evidence suggests an early African presence in Florida.

• Africans accompanied the first Spanish explorers and settlers of Florida, nearly a full century before the English settlement of Jamestown, Virginia.

• While the Southern colonies, and later Southern states of the U.S., were dominated by plantation slavery, Florida was Spanish territory and “Freedom Land” for Africans escaping enslavement and Native peoples escaping settler encroachment on their traditional lands.

• Pirates were known for exercising “complete integration and complete democracy.” Among the most legendary of pirates was Black Caesar, who operated in South Florida waters.

• The first invasion of a foreign country by the U.S. began with the incursions into Florida which became known as the Seminole wars.

• Both the words “Seminoles” and “Maroons” are derived from the Spanish word “cimarrones,” which was used for livestock which escaped into the wild. “Cimarrones” became “Siminoli” in the Creek Indian language, and then “Seminole” in English.

• “The Seminoles were a people, not a tribe,” consisting of numerous Native groups and Africans. Black Seminoles were especially valuable to the alliance as interpreters, since they knew both European and Native languages.

• The Seminole Wars were the costliest in U.S. history, in both money and bloodshed, until the Vietnam War.

• The main goal of the Seminole Wars was not only to “fight Indians” and to displace them west of the Mississippi River on the Trail of Tears, but equally importantly to "recapture the 'property' " of Southern slave owners and prevent further escapes of enslaved people.

• One of the most important sites of the Second Seminole War was the 1838 Loxahatchee River Battlefield in northern Palm Beach County, Florida, where Black and Native Seminoles, outnumbered and outgunned, fought bravely for their freedom, until they were captured by U.S. forces, dishonorably, under a flag of truce, and marched on the Trail of Tears to Tampa, shipped to Louisiana and east Texas, and marched to Oklahoma.