Even as Bowlegs and an alleged 180 followers were making their way south,
Coacoochee was heading north, returning to the Indian Territory to entice more
allies to Mexico. News reports in Texas raised alarms about Coacoochee’s plans.
Papers as far away as New York claimed that the Seminole chief had 800 followers
ready to commit depredations on the Texas frontier. Coacoochee fueled
speculation by variously saying he had 600 or 1,600 followers—claims he probably
made to scare enemies as much as encourage recruits. Like an astute politician,
he described his mission differently depending on his audience. For Kickapoos,
he conjured the vision of a confederation of Indians and blacks in Mexico. For
Anglos and Mexicans, he marketed the services of a military colony that could
defend them against the Plains tribes and the “too near approaches of the common
foe, the savage Camanches [sic].”
Littlefield Africans and Seminoles 154, Foreman Five 263-65,
House Doc. 15, 33rd Cong., 2nd Sess.:15-31, Tyler 4, The Texas
Monument Oct. 16, 1850, The Western Texas (San Antonio) Aug.
24, Sept. 7, 1854, Montgomery 143-147.