Welcome to the Seminole Negro Indian Scouts
This website is a forum for the exploration of the history of the Seminole Negro Indian Scouts and Black Seminoles. Curated by descendants, in partnership with other researchers, our mission is to provide a space for open discussion and shared enquiry based on primary documents, oral history, and published research. We intend to offer resources to anyone interested in learning more about the Seminole Negro Indian Scouts, the Black Seminoles, and our impact on the western United States.
Nowhere is the complexity of our history more evident than in the many names that have been used to describe us over the last two centuries.
The Seminole Indians, with whom our ancestors lived, called us Estelusti, or “Black People.” The U.S. Government has referred to us as Seminole Negroes, Indian Negroes, Seminole Freedmen, Maroons, and Afro-Seminoles. In Mexico, we have usually been known as Negros Mascogos or just Mascogos. In modern times throughout the U.S. and in Texas, we are most often known as Black Seminoles or, in the community shorthand, “Seminoles.”
It is through the evolution of these names that the remarkable history of our ancestors unfolds.
We will begin with a summary for those who do not know our history and our contributions to the history of the United States. While the main focus of the Seminole Negro Indian Scout Historical Society is the Scouts themselves, we also invite discussion of all aspects of Black Seminole life, as we are all kin.
Note: This website uses the name Seminole Negroes interchangeably with Black Seminoles, and with Mascogos when in Mexico, and often uses the abbreviation “Scouts” when referring to the Seminole Negro Indian Scouts.
Photo: John Jefferson, grandson of Seminole Negro Chief John Horse. Jefferson was a Scout from 1904-1914. He later joined the 10th Calvary ("the Buffalo Solders") and is pictured here in his Trumpeters Uniform.
The Seminole Negro Indian Scouts Historical Society is an independent research organization involved solely in preserving and promoting history. The primary community organization for descendants of the Seminole Negro Indian Scouts is the Seminole Indian Scouts Cemetery Association (SISCA) in Brackettville, Texas. For 40+ years, SISCA has represented the Scout descendant community by caring for and preserving the Seminole Indian Scouts Cemetery and associated buildings, organizing Juneteenth and Seminole Days celebrations, as well as promoting the history of the Scouts at public events and with a museum housed by the old school attended by many descendants. While the Historical Society is separate from SISCA, we acknowledge, and are very grateful for, their essential role in preserving both our history and the descendant community. We highly recommend visiting their website (www.seminolecemeteryassociation.com/) for more information.