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150th Anniversary of the First Scout Enlistment

Reviews of Origins of the Seminole Negro Indian Scouts 

"Outstanding Document!


All this information in one place, in chronological order. It is amazing to read it all!

It is also heartbreaking to read our ancestor's cries for help and know that their homes and property were taken away, even as they followed the rules, wrote letters, waiting for compensation for years, just to get nothing and then be kicked out of their homes.


Through it all, in spite of it all, our forefathers and foremothers survived and moved forward. I am proud of our history!”


Billie Jean Frierson, 

Descendant of Scouts John Ward, Bill Williams, Ben July, Isaac Wilson, Jerry Daniels, Joe Thompson

To kickoff the commemoration of the 150th Anniversary of the first enlistment of the Seminole Negro Indian Scouts, the Seminole Negro Indian Scouts Historical Society has created an annotated booklet containing original articles and transcribed military and government correspondence documenting the origins of the Scouts.

It provides firsthand contemporary accounts of how the Seminole Negroes negotiated service as Scouts to support themselves while waiting for transit from Texas back to “Indian Territory”. This is the only work of its kind, as it shows the origins of the 

Scouts and the evolution of their journey in detail through original documentation from Library of Congress records that have never been transcribed and made available before. 


In most discussions about the Seminole Negro Indian Scouts, the focus is usually on the expeditions, the four Medal of Honor recipients, and Lt. Bullis, the best-known commander of the Scouts. What is not widely known is how the Scouts came from Mexico to the U.S, what were the politics behind their enlistment as Scouts, and how they were viewed by their commanders. 


Click on Image for an excerpt from the Origins of Seminole Negro Indian Scouts booklet.

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Click here to buy a copy of  the booklet for $30 (includes shipping). Although the initial link is to Paypal, any major debit or credit card can be used . Checks can also be sent  and made payable to the Seminole Negro Indian Scouts Historical Society, 200 N. Pickett St., Ste 613, Alexandria, VA 22304.

"This is an excellent, intriguing and much needed piece of research that provides a unique perspective on the Seminole Negro Indian Scouts.  

It is historical research at its best and most pure, as it presents the reader with original documents from which to form their own opinions. At the same time it reads like a historical novel as the annotations provide a context and explanations for each letter that allow the reader to sink in and experience the story of the Scouts as it unfolded in the late 1800’s. It is remarkable to hear the voices of Black Seminole leaders like John Horse and John Kibbetts as they write requesting land and support for their people, and to follow in their own words the discussions between the military and the government over the status of the Scouts.  

I think both the casual reader and military buff will enjoy reading this excellent annotated compilation." 

Researcher Bennie J. McRae, Jr.  has been studying and documenting data on the African American military experience for over 30 years with a primary focus on America’s Civil War, Western Frontier and World War II. His website, Lest We Forget, and the documents he has made available to the public through it, has been a primary resource since the mid 1990s. The site is no longer active online, however, many of the files have been archived on the Hampton University server at 


This booklet contains detailed correspondence about the economic and military position of the Scouts and the how most of their commanding officers advocated on their behalf for resettlement to Arkansas or arable land near Forth Clark to help them become self-sufficient. It also shows how government disorganization and structural racism prohibited any of that progress from manifesting. 


The Origins of the Seminole Negro Indian Scouts provides new insights into the realities of how the Black Seminoles worked and were treated throughout their many years of service. 

This information will be interesting and valuable for both Scout descendants and those who are interested in military history and the history of this country.

Samples of the original military letters are available on the Welcome page. More letters with transcriptions will be posted throughout this Anniversary year.

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