The Florida Black Historical Research Project, Inc.  Established 1996  Retrieving, Preserving, and Celebrating Seminole Maroon History and Heritage

 


The Mission of the Florida Black Historical Research Project Inc. is to research, collect, and disseminate knowledge of significant contributions Blacks have made in the State of Florida.


 


 

A Unifying Remembrance:
On Saturday, January 9, the 183rd Anniversary Annual Seminole Maroon Spiritual Remembrance of the Two Battles was livestreamed to honor the memory of all of the fallen, on all sides, with traditional Native American and African opening rituals, multicultural prayers, and a presentation of colors accompanied by the ceremonial playing of “Taps” with greetings and brief informational presentations about the two battles and the sacred site.

Children Specially Remembered:
The Remembrance culminated with an offering of white flowers at the riverside in memory of the most tragic victims of the warfare, the non-combatant children who were captured after the battles and forced to endure the torments of the Trail of Tears in mid-winter weather from their Florida homelands to present-day Oklahoma.

A Turning Point in History:
The two decisive 1838 Battles on the banks of the Loxahatchee River in present-day Jupiter, Florida, occupy a highly significant place in American history because it was their outcomes that turned the tide of the U.S. government’s decades-long fight against the freedom and independence of Native and African American Seminoles in Florida, known as the Seminole Wars.

The Diaspora: Looking Back and Ahead

On Sunday, January 17, 2021 (Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. holiday weekend), a lively online webinar (the second series event) presented the fascinating story of a pivotal chapter of Native/African/American history, told from the perspective of those who continue to live the history of Seminole Maroons in the Diaspora. The Webinar featured speakers representing the Bahamas, Oklahoma, Texas, Mexico, and other destinations where survivors of the wars sought freedom and established lasting free communities, as well as Florida itself, where a considerable number were able to remain.

Unfortunately, we didn’t start the recording until about seven minutes into the presentation, so Representative Pittman’s wonderful welcoming words—and half of Gene Tinnie’s opening remarks—are missing.

References

Florida's Negro War: Black Seminoles and the Second Seminole War 1835–1842 by Anthony E. Dixon, 2014
Website: https://www.profaedixon.com/floridas-negro-war/
The Exiles of Florida by Joshua R. Giddings, originally published 1858. Link to digital version: http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/41316​
anastasiapittman@gmail.com
Video about Los Negros Mascogos (Black Seminoles) of Mexico: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LlyAAv0VASI&t=0s
The Seminole Negro Indian Scout Cemetery Association
https://www.seminolecemeteryassociation.com/
https://twitter.com/sisca_brackett
Black Seminoles in the Bahamas by Rosalyn Howard, 2002
Recollection and Reconnection: Voices of the St. David's Islanders and Their Native American Relatives by Rosalyn Howard, 2015
Twasinta's Seminoles by Albery A. Whitman, originally published 1884
Egmont Key: A Seminole Story, edited by Bradley Mueller and Alyssa Boge (link) https://www.semtribe.com/stof/docs/default-source/default-document-library/egmont-key---a-seminole-story.pdf

 


 

Dear Lovers of History and Culture:

This comes to request your  support of Florida Black Historical Research Project, Inc.'s  [ FBHRP ] new initiative, "Speaking Memory, Archives, and Artifacts."

This project was selected for promotion in a fundraising effort to support Black Non-profit organizations, Give 8/28, organized by Mighty Cause.

Financial Contributions--small, very small, tiny, really miniscule! none and large, very large, gigantic!--are appreciated .

Important also is your sharing this message with someone whom you feel would support this effort.

We appreciate your support, your presence at our events, your financial contributions and your publicity.  Every gesture is important.  All support is welcome and valued.

On behalf of the Board of FBHRP, I thank you.

Sincerely,
Wallis Tinnie
Board Member
Florida Black Historical Research Project, Inc

 


 

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.

Website Photo Header Credit: Original photography and montage by Stephen Marc, depicting an Annual Spiritual Remembrance of the Loxahatchee Battlefield in Jupiter, Florida, a turning point in the "Seminole Wars."  Prominently shown are the late Isa Hamm Bryant, founder of the FBHRP (in Seminole shirt), and Carib Tribal Queen Mrs. Catherine Hummingbird Ramirez, who has regularly performed the Opening Blessing and Prayer on these occasions.