Letter from the Executive Director
On August 16, 1870, eleven Seminole Negro men enrolled at Fort Duncan, Texas, as the first detachment of the newly formed Seminole Negro Indian Scouts. What began as a six-month enlistment continued until 1914. One hundred and fifty years later, we are inaugurating the Seminole Negro Indian Scout Historical Society to celebrate the incredible military legacy of the Scouts and the unique and thriving Scout descendant community that has maintained its identity through the years with an insular language (Afro-Seminole Creole) and shared oral history.
The Historical Society, created and led by descendants of the Seminole Negro Indian Scouts, works with allied researchers to collect and curate accurate historical work, support new research, and preserve oral and other forms of community history.
We intend to collect oral histories from the elders who can still remember firsthand stories about the Scouts. We will also develop a program to encourage Scout descendants to record oral histories of their elders to document and preserve the unique history of the Black Seminole community that developed on both sides of the border after the Scouts were disbanded in 1914. You can learn more about our work under the "About" and "Projects" tabs.
Why are we the Seminole Negro Indian Scouts Historical Society instead of the Black Seminole Historical Society? Although all Black Seminoles share the roots of rebellion and survival in Florida in the 1800s, different options and opportunities led to the establishment of different communities of Black Seminoles in the Bahamas, Oklahoma, and Texas. The ancestors of Black Seminoles of Texas, led by Chief John Horse, emancipated themselves in the 1850s when they left the U.S. and settled in Mexico for the next twenty years. In the 1870s, they forged a relationship with the U.S. military that led to their return to the United States and their eventual settlement in Brackettville, TX. The main focus of this site is on the Scouts and their community but, in recognition of other Black Seminole communities, this site will also be a forum for research and discussion about these communities and our shared heritage.
The preservation, documentation, and research projects we are undertaking are huge and will grow and evolve over time. We can't do it alone.
So how can you help?
We seek financial support to cover the costs of activities such as: cataloging, transcribing and indexing documents, IT and audio production support;expanding website capabilities, etc. All donations are tax deductible and can be made by clicking the yellow donate button below.
Contribute research and genealogical resources
We want to collect, curate and widely share information about the Scouts and Black Seminoles. You can make that possible by submitting and allowing us to post information you have created or collected.
The Society is run by volunteers who donate their time and expertise. Email us to explore how your skills can further this work.
If you have any questions about the Society or ways to get involved, please send an email to email@example.com.
I invite you explore the website to become familiar with the history of the Scouts, read some of the original military letters that explain why the Seminole Negroes became Scouts, and learn more about the work of the Society.
On behalf of the Historical Society, we look forward to celebrating this momentous year with you!
Sarah, Founder and Descendant
Mother: Mary Greene Johnson /|Grandmother: Sarah Jefferson Lewis / Great-grandfather: John Jefferson / Great-great-grandfather: Joe Coon / Great-great-great-grandfather: Chief John Horse