The maroons enjoyed another unusual privilege -- the right to bear arms. With Spanish muskets for hunting and self-defense, they formed a formidable force. Their freedom was striking to outsiders, many of whom had only seen
African Americans under southern slavery. After visiting the Black Seminoles in 1822, William Simmons called them "the finest looking people I have ever seen." Surgeon Jacob
Rhett Motte, who met the blacks in the 1830s, had a different opinion, believing that the "diabolical looking wretches" had too much pride:
"They had none of the servility of our northern blacks, but were constantly offering their dirty paws with as much hauteur and nonchalance as if they were conferring a vast deal of honor."
Simmons 76, Motte 210, Mahon 120-1.
Part 1, Early Years: l