Rebellion 1812 - 1882     
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View of a cross near Mexico City, 1880
"View from the Cerro Estrella," photo taken by William Henry Jackson circa 1880 from a hill above Mexico City, where John Horse died in 1882. Library of Congress.
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There were no obituaries when John Horse died in Mexico City. He was buried without fanfare in a sixth-class grave. And so ended one of the more remarkable lives in nineteenth-century America. Born a nominal slave to Indians in Spanish Florida, Juan Caballo became a free warrior of color who helped inspire and lead the largest slave rebellion in U.S. history. At least twice during the Second Seminole War, at Fort Brooke and Fort Marion, his daring helped turn the tide in the largest “Indian” war in U.S. history. Castigated as a scoundrel by leading U.S. politicians and generals, he later became their ally. Out west, alliance deepened into mutual respect, as army officers from the Indian Territory to Washington D.C. embraced the man and his cause. When a divided country proved unable to grant his followers the freedom they had been promised, John Horse led a daring exodus to Mexico, where he created a safe haven from slavery. Adapting to a harsh new environment, he became a celebrated figure of the frontier, and yet his very stature was nearly the cause of his death at the hands of slave raiders and assassins.

From the onset of the Second Seminole War in 1835 to the last days of his final mission to Mexico City in 1882, he dedicated his life to securing a homeland for his family and followers. He achieved that end with his final action. The Mexican government secured the land grant, which Porfirio Diaz and two more Mexican presidents subsequently confirmed. John Horse’s descendants still live there to this day.

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Sources: Porter Black 223-224. ©
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
+ Liberty Foretold
+ Liberty Found
Los Mascogos
Fort Clark
 + Legacy & Conclusion