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Rebellion November 1851     
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Gopher John, or John Horse
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John Horse, as he appeared around 1840. Source of the original sketch unknown. The engraving, entitled "Gopher John Seminole Interpreter," first appeared in Sprague's 1848 history of the war, attributed to the firm of N. Orr & Richardson. A similar engraving by Orr appeared in Giddings' 1858 history, with slight alterations. For a comparison of the two, see the more detailed commentary in key images.
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Border Etiquette

While John Horse inspired fantasies of racially inherited servility in Cora Montgomery, other residents of the frontier were too familiar with his record to fall prey to such visions. As a well-armed black leader, John Horse was often subject to derision and violence. One of his most dangerous brushes with the Americans took place late in 1851. Duval had contracted Warren Adams, an experienced slave catcher, to recover the Black Seminoles. Adamsí reputation temporarily soared when he seized John Horse in November, after the black leader was wounded in a bar fight in Piedras Negras.

Coacoochee located his friend in the Eagle Pass jail. He agreed to ransom John Horse for $500 and a promise to Adams that he and John would deliver a quantity of fugitive slaves. Coacoochee paid the ransom in gold coins that were covered in blood. When a medical examiner told Adams that the blood was human, the notorious slave-catcher fled the region.

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Sources: Tyler 5, Sumpter 61, 69-70 ff 1-2. ©
Part 4, Freedom: Outline  l Images
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 Trail Narrative
 + Prologue
 + Background: 1693-1812
 + Early Years: 1812-1832
 + War: 1832-1838
 + Exile: 1838-1850
 - Freedom: 1850-1882
+ Cost of Freedom
spacer spacer Arrival
Second Exodus
Comanches
Border Etiquette
Filibusters
Duval's Desserts
Indian Killers
End of an Era
+ Liberty Foretold
+ Liberty Found
 + Legacy & Conclusion