Historians have not been able to pinpoint the origins of Seminole slavery. The practice may date to the British occupation of Florida, or even to the early 1700s, when blacks first sought refuge in the region.
Undoubtedly, Seminole chiefs gained wealth and prestige from owning slaves. At least partially, however, their system seems to have evolved as a form of protection for runaways.
As American-style slavery expanded south toward Florida, fugitive blacks found that they had a much better chance of maintaining their freedom if they could claim to be the property of a Seminole Indian.
Porter Black 4-5, Mulroy 11, McCall 160, Littlefield
Part 1, Early Years: l