VIRTUAL BATTLEFIELD REMEMBRANCE TO CONTINUE LAUNCH OF NEW ERA OF SEMINOLE MAROON HISTORICAL AWARENESS
The 2021 Annual Remembrance of a pivotal chapter of Native/African/American history will continue its history-making on January 17, from 1:00-2:30 p.m. EST.
This two-part, first-time-ever virtual online Seminole Maroon commemoration of the two 1838 Battles of the Loxahatchee River in northern Palm Beach County, Florida, is a radical and innovative departure from an ever-popular 28-year-old tradition of public gatherings at the Battlefield Site in Jupiter’s Riverbend Park on Indiantown Road.
The Diaspora: Looking Back and Ahead
On Sunday, January 17 (Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. holiday weekend), a lively online webinar (the second series event) will present the fascinating story, told from the perspective of those who continue to live the history of Seminole Maroons in the Diaspora.
The Webinar will feature 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.
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 January 15 Seminole ambush and defeat of a Naval expeditionary force was followed by a January 21 retaliatory strike by 1,500 U.S. troops and Tennessee Volunteers which did not succeed in defeating against vastly outnumbered warriors fighting to defend their freedom and families, but future Seminole resistance was greatly diminished when large numbers of survivors were lured to Fort Jupiter weeks later under a flag of truce, where they were dishonorably captured, the aforementioned children included, and deported from Florida.
To Re-enslave African Americans
A most notable, yet often forgotten aspect of this conflict was plainly stated by U.S. General Thomas Jesup who informed his colleagues that “This, you may be assured, is a Negro war, not an Indian War,” recognizing that “Indian Removal” was actually a secondary goal to its primary purpose of capturing and (re)enslaving Seminole Maroons, and preventing their Native allies from providing safe refuges for them; indeed, several of those captured at Fort Jupiter were handed over to “slave catchers” as supposedly returned “stolen property.”
Even more importantly, historians and other scholars have brought to light the critical role of Black Seminoles, who often fought the hardest because of having the most to lose, but who also served as interpreters and negotiators for their Native allies, amidst many other contributions based on shared goals, and cultural and spiritual understandings.
In light of such realities, organizers of the two-part Remembrance emphasize that the focus on “Battles” and “Wars,” for all of their real importance and continuing consequences, is misleading because conflicts that lasted a few hours on two days should not overshadow the more than 150 years of “Seminole Peace,” during which African and Native self-liberators enjoyed freedom and independence, raising farms and herds, in both separate and combined settlements, building a deep-rooted legacy with major impacts on subsequent history.
The Annual Remembrance is presented by the nonprofit Florida Black Historical Research Project, Inc., in partnership with the Loxahatchee Battlefield Preservationists organization and the Palm Beach County Parks and Recreation Department. For further information, call 305-772-7714 or 305-904-7620, or visit www.fbhrpinc.org.
To join the Zoom meeting on January 17:
Meeting ID: 891 9526 1636
You may also join via FACEBOOK:
YOU ARE INVITED!
"Voices from the Seminole Maroon Diaspora" Webinar - January 17
An almost buried past will be reinvigorated during the Virtual Panel, “Voices from the Seminole Maroon Diaspora,” to be presented by the Florida Black Historical Research Project (FBHRP) at 1:00 p.m. on Sunday, January 17, to mark the 183rd Anniversary Commemoration of the Seminole Maroon encounter with the U.S. military in Palm Beach County, Florida. (SEE PROGRAM AND PANELISTS BELOW)
WHAT: Voices of the Seminole Maroon Diaspora:
Webinar and Panel Discussion--Representing Florida,
the Bahamas, Oklahoma, Texas, Mexico, and beyond
WHEN: Sunday, January 17, 2021, I:00-2:30 p.m.
(Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday weekend)
WHO: Presented by the Florida Black Historical Research Project, Inc. (a 501[c] not-for-profit community organization) In cooperation with Loxahatchee Battlefield Preservationists and Palm Beach County Parks and Recreation Department
Members of Seminole Maroon Diaspora to Discuss “Buried Past” in Virtual Webinar
An almost buried past will be reinvigorated during the Virtual Panel, “Voices from the Seminole Maroon Diaspora,” to be presented by the Florida Black Historical Research Project (FBHRP) at 1:00 p.m. on Sunday, January 17, to mark the 183rd Anniversary Commemoration of the Seminole Maroon encounter with the U.S. military in Palm Beach County, Florida.
Seminole Maroon descendants from Florida and from exile communities in Oklahoma, Texas, Mexico and the Bahamas will offer fascinating stories of a previously "forgotten" history related to the outrages of the 19th Century "Seminole Wars" and the infamous "Trail of Tears."
This Virtual Panel, the second of two programs offered to the Virtual Community by FBHRP and presented in cooperation with the Loxahatchee Battlefield Preservationists and Palm Beach County Parks, will be followed, immediately after the question and answer session, by a one-hour presentation of the On-site Commemorative event live-streamed on January 9 from Loxahatchee River Battlefield Park in Jupiter.
Col. Jesup: “This is a negro war…”
The Keynote Speaker for the discussion is Dr. Anthony Dixon, whose book, Florida’s Negro War: Black Seminoles and the Second Seminole War 1835-1842, makes the argument that the Second Seminole War was fueled by United States efforts, at the behest of Florida planters, to enslave Black Seminoles and their self-emancipated Black Allies, whose large fighting presence was in evidence.
Senator Anastasia Pittman (ret.), founder of Anastasia Pittman Research Institute for Indigenous People of Color, will discuss the Institute’s Black Seminole Project, “Protecting the Fire,” the story of the 300-year saga of Black Seminoles.
From Texas and Mexico
Two representatives from the Brackettville, Texas Seminole Indian Scouts Cemetery Association (SISCA), Augusta “Gigi” Pines, its president, and Windy Goodloe, its secretary will discuss Brackettville’s exile community and its beloved Seminole Indian Scouts Museum founded by Ms. Charles Emily Wilson.
Corina Torralba, a descendant of Comunidad Negros Mascogos, the exile community of Nacimiento, Mexico, who is also treasurer of Brackettville’s SISCA, will discuss the Nacimiento community whose residents had originated in Brackettville.
From The Bahamas
Dr. Rosalyn Howard, Assoc. Professor of Anthropology (ret.) of the University of Central Florida and author of Black Seminoles in the Bahamas, Recollection and Reconnection: Voices of the St. David’s Islanders and their Native American Relatives and Ms. Michelle Bowleg, District Superintendent of Schools of Andros and Berry Islands and direct descendant of the Red Bays settlement will discuss the family legacy and its founding ancestor, Scipio Bowlegs.
Samuel Tommie of the Seminole Tribe of Florida, is an artist, videographer and environmental activist “born on a tree island in the Everglades,” who will bring reminiscences of Seminole life and customs.
Dr. Wallis Tinnie, a member of FBHRP Board, will moderate the panel and close out the discussion with her research and recollections related to her own Seminole ancestry and to the Seminole presence in West Palm Beach, Florida.
Dr. Tinnie will host the question/answer session through the Zoom Chat Room.
Following the question/answer session will be a Special Airing of a one-hour presentation of the January 9 Virtual Event held at Loxahatchee River Battlefield Park in Jupiter, Florida.
To join the Zoom meeting on January 17, please click the following:
Meeting ID: 891 9526 1636
183rd ANNIVERSARY SEMINOLE MAROON REMEMBRANCE OF THE TWO BATTLES OF THE LOXAHATCHEE RIVER, PALM BEACH COUNTY, FLORIDA, JANUARY, 2021:
TWO VIRTUAL ONLINE EVENTS:
WHAT: VIRTUAL Annual Seminole Maroon Spiritual Remembrance of the Two 1838 Battles of the Loxahatchee
WHEN: Saturday, January 9, 2021, I:00-2:30 p.m.
WHERE: Facebook links:
WHO: Presented by the Florida Black Historical Research Project, Inc. (a 501[c] not-for=profit community organization)
In cooperation with Loxahatchee Battlefield Preservationists and Palm Beach County Parks and Recreation Department
WHAT: “The Seminole Maroon Diaspora”: Webinar and Panel Discussion: Representing Florida, the Bahamas, Oklahoma, Texas, Mexico, and beyond
WHEN: Sunday, January 17, 2021, I:00-2:30 p.m. (Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. holiday weekend)
WHERE: Join Zoom meeting:
WHO: Presented by the Florida Black Historical Research Project, Inc. (a 501[c] not-for=profit community organization) In cooperation with Loxahatchee Battlefield Preservationists and Palm Beach County Parks and Recreation Department