This edited collection of official correspondence between the War Department, the Bureau of Indian Affairs, and Black Seminole leaders tells the story of how a group of Black Seminoles living as military colonists in Mexico under the leadership of Chief John Horse and Sub-Chief John Kibbetts came to cross back over into the United States and enlist as the Seminole Negro Indian Scouts.
These letters are available to the public through the Library of Congress, but have never been transcribed and put together in chronological order before. The story they tell is fascinating and heartbreaking, as they provide a factual journey through the events in the 1870s that led to the creation of the Seminole Negro Indian Scouts.
This collection counters the narrative found in most books, which imply that the U.S. government was the originator behind the movements of the Black Seminoles. Instead, these letters make it clear that Seminole Negro leaders made active choices in seeking out the best opportunities for their people, and acting upon them, rather than being passive participants. They demonstrate the urgency the Seminole Negro leaders felt as they sought to establish a safe home for their people.
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