Rebellion 1812     
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A Seminole chickee and a town, circa 1835
Drawing of a chickee and lithograph of a Seminole town circa 1835. The drawing is from Clayton MacCauley's 1887 report, The Seminole Indians of Florida. Lithograph from the Gray & James series on the war, published in 1837, courtesy of
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John Horse was born a slave, but in 1812 Seminole bondage was radically different from southern-style slavery. Under the Seminoles' loose system, slaves and free blacks lived in their own towns, often at a considerable distance from Indian masters. The blacks built villages on the same model as the Indians, living in chickees -- elevated, palmetto-plank homes adapted to Florida's climate and topography. Blacks elected their own leaders and in general conducted themselves more like military allies than slaves.

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Sources: Simmons 76, Mulroy 17-22, Coe 14-15.
Part 1, Early Years: Outline  l  Images
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 Trail Narrative
 + Prologue
 + Background: 1693-1812
 - Early Years: 1832-1838
+ World at Birth
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Seminole Slavery
Living Conditions
Afro-Indian Culture
+ Encroaching America
+ A New Country
 + War: 1832-1838
 + Exile: 1838-1850
 + Freedom: 1850-1882
 + Legacy & Conclusion


William Simmons describes a night in a Black Seminole home in 1822