Seminole Indians

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Seminole Tribe. Meaning “one who has camped out from the regular towns,” and hence sometimes given as “runaway,” but there is too much onus in this rendering. Prof. H. E. Bolton believes it was adopted from Spanish cimarron meaning “wild.”

  • Ikanafáskalgi, “people of the point,” a Creek name.
  • Ikaniúksalgi, i’peninsula people,” own name.
  • Isti seminole, “Seminole people.”
  • Lower Creeks, so called by Bartram (1792).
  • Ungiayó-rono, “peninsula people,” Huron name.

Seminole Connections. As implied above, the Seminole removed from the Creek towns and constituted just before the last Seminole War a fair representation of the population of those towns: perhaps two-thirds Creek proper or Muskogee, and the remaining third Indians of the Hitchiti-speaking towns, Alabama, Yamasee, and besides a band of Yuchi, latterly a few of the original Indian inhabitants of southern Florida.

Seminole Location. The Seminole towns were first planted about Apalachicola River, in and near the old Apalachee country and in the Alachua country in the central part of the State, although a few were scattered about Tampa Bay and even well down the east coast as far south as Miami. They did not enter the Everglade section of the State until toward the end of the last Seminole War. As a result of that war, the greater part were removed to the territory now constituting Seminole County, Oklahoma. A few remained in their old territory and their descendants are there today.

Seminole Villages

  • Ahapopka, near the head of Ocklawaha River.
  • Ahosulga, 5 miles south of New Mikasuki, perhaps in Jefferson County.
  • Alachua, near Ledwiths Lake.
  • Alafiers, probably a synonym for some other town name, perhaps McQueen’s Village, near Alafia River.
  • Alapaha, probably on the west side of the Suwannee just above its junction with the Allapaha.
  • Alligator, said to be a settlement in Suwannee County.
  • Alouko, on the east side of St. Marks River 20 miles north of St. Marks.
  • Apukasasoche, 20 miles west of the head of St. Johns River.
  • Attapulgas: first location, west of Apalachicola River in Jackson or Calhoun Counties; second location inland in Gadsden County.
  • Beech Creek, exact location unknown.
  • Big Cypress Swamp, in the “Devil’s Garden” on the northern edge of Big Cypress Swamp, 15 to 20 miles southwest of Lake Okeechobee.
  • Big Hammock, north of Tampa Bay.
  • Bowlegs’ Town, chief’s name, on Suwannee River and probably known usually under another name.
  • Bucker Woman’s Town, on Long Swamp east of Big Hammock.
  • Burges’ Town, probably on or near Flint or St. Marys River, southwestern Georgia.
  • Calusahatchee, on the river of the same name and probably occupied by Calusa Indians.
  • Capola, east of St. Marks River.
  • Catfish Lake, on a small lake in Polk County nearly midway between Lake Pierce and Lake Rosalie, toward the headwaters of Kissimmee River.
  • Chefixico’s Old Town, on the south side of Old Tallahassee Lake, 5 miles east of Tallahassee.
  • Chetuckota, on the west bank of Pease Creek, below Pease Lake, west central Florida.
  • Choconikla, on the west side of Apalachicola River, probably in Jackson County.
  • Chohalaboohulka, probably identical with Alapaha.
  • Chukochati, near the hammock of the same name.
  • Cohowofooche, 23 miles northwest of St. Marks.
  • Cow Creek, on a stream about 15 miles northeast of the entrance of Kissimmee River.
  • Cuscowilla (see Alachua).
  • Etanie, west of St. Johns River and east of Black Creek.
  • Etotulga, 10 miles east of Old Mikasuki.
  • Fish-eating Creek, 5 miles from a creek emptying into Lake Okeechobee.
  • Fulemmy’s Town, perhaps identical with Beech Creek, Suwannee River.
  • Hatchcalamocha, near Drum Swamp, 18 miles west of New Mikasuki.
  • Hiamonee, on the east bank of Ocklocknee River, probably on Lake Iamonia.
  • Hitchapuksassi, about 20 miles from the head of Tampa Bay and 20 miles southeast of Chukochati.
  • Homosassa, probably on Homosassa River.
  • Iolee, 60 miles above the mouth of Apalachicola River on the west bank at or near Blountstown.
  • John Hicks’ Town, west of Payne’s Savannah.
  • King Heijah’s Town, or Koe Hadjo’s Town, consisted of Negro slaves, probably in Alachua County.
  • Lochchiocha, 60 miles east of Apalachicola River and near Ocklocknee River.
  • Loksachumpa, at the head of St. Johns River.
  • Lowwalta (probably for Liwahali), location unknown.
  • McQueen’s Village, on the east side of Tampa Bay, perhaps identical with Alafiers.
  • Miami River, about 10 miles north of the site of Fort Dallas, not far from Biscayne Bay, on Little Miami River.
  • Mulatto Girl’s Town, south of Tuscawilla Lake.
  • Negro Town, near Withlacoochee River, probably occupied largely by runaway slaves.
  • New Mikasuki, 30 miles west of Suwannee River, probably in Madison County.
  • Notasulgar, location unknown.
  • Ochisi, at a bluff so called on the east side of Apalachicola River.
  • Ochupocrassa, near Miami.
  • Ocilla, at the mouth of Aucilla River on the east side.
  • Oclackonayahe, above Tampa Bay.
  • Oclawaha, on Ocklawaha River, probably in Putnam County.
  • Oithlakutci, on Little River 40 miles east of Apalachicola River.
  • Okehumpkee, 60 miles southwest from Volusia.
  • Oktahatki, 7 miles northeast of Sampala.
  • Old Mikasuki, near Miccosukee in Leon County.
  • Oponays, “back of Tampa Bay,” probably in Hillsboro or Polk Counties.
  • Owassissas, on an eastern branch of St. Marks River and probably near its head.
  • Payne’s Town, near Koe Hadjo’s Town, occupied by Negroes.
  • Picolata, on the east bank of St. Johns River west of St. Augustine.
  • Pilaklikaha, about 120 miles south of Alachua.
  • Pilatka, on or near the site of Palatka, probably the site of a Seminole town and of an earlier town as well.
  • Red Town, at Tampa Bay.
  • Sampala, 26 miles above the forks of the Apalachicola on the west bank, in Jackson County, or in Houston County, Ala.
  • Santa Fe, on the river of the same name, perhaps identical with Washitokha.
  • Sarasota, at or near Sarasota.
  • Seleuxa, at the head of Aucilla River.
  • Sitarky, evidently named after a chief, between Camp Izard and Fort King,
  • West Florida.
  • Spanawalka, 2 miles below Iolee and on the west bank of Apalachicola River.
  • Suwannee, on the west bank of Suwannee River in Lafayette County.
  • Talakhacha, on the west side of Cape Florida on the seacoast.
  • Tallahassee, on the site of present Tallahassee.
  • Tallahassee or Spring Gardens, 10 miles from Volusia, occupied by Yuchi.
  • Talofa Okhase, about 30 miles west southwest from the upper part of Lake George.
  • Taluachapkoapopka, a short distance west of upper St. Johns River, probably at the present Apopka.
  • Tocktoethla, 10 miles above the junction of Chattahoochee and Flint Rivers.
  • Tohopki lagi, probably near Miami.
  • Topananaulka, 3 miles west of New Mikasuki.
  • Topkegalga, on the east side of Ocklocknee River near Tallahassee.
  • Totstalahoeetska, on the west side of Tampa Bay.
  • Tuckagulga, on the east side of Ocklocknee River between it and Hiamonee.
  • Tuslalahockaka, 10 miles west of Walalecooche.
  • Wacahoota, location unknown.
  • Wachitokha, on the east side of Suwannee River between Suwannee and Santa Fe Rivers.
  • Wakasassa, on the coast east of the mouth of Suwannee River.
  • Wasupa, 2 miles from St. Marks River and 18 miles from St. Marks itself.
  • Wechotookme, location unknown.
  • Welika, 4 miles east of the Tallahassee town.
  • Wewoka, at Wewoka, Okla.
  • Willanoucha, at the head of St. Marks River, perhaps identical with Alouko.
  • Withlacoochee, on Withlacoochee River, probably in Citrus or Sumter County.
  • Withlako, 4 miles from Clinch’s battle ground.
  • Yalacasooche, at the mouth of Ocklawaha River.
  • Yulaka, on the west side of St. Johns River, 35 miles from Volusia or Dexter.
  • Yumersee, at the head of St. Marks River, 2 miles north of St. Marks, a settlement of Yamasee. (See Georgia.)

Seminole History.  The nucleus of the nation was constituted by a part of the Oconee, who moved into Florida about 1750 and were gradually followed by other tribes, principally of the Hitchiti connection. The first true Muskogee to enter the peninsula were some of the Indians of Lower Eufaula, who came in 1767 but these were mixed with Hitchiti and others. There was a second Muskogee immigration in 1778, but after the Creek-American War of 1813-14 a much greater immigration occurred from the Creek Nation, mainly from the Upper Towns, and as the great majority of the newcomers were Muskogee, the Seminole became prevailingly a Muskogee people, what is now called the Seminole language being almost pure Muskogee. Later there were two wars with the Whites; the first from 1817-18, in which Andrew Jackson lead the American forces; and the second, from 1835 to 1842, a long and bitter contest in which the Indians demonstrated to its fullest capacity the possibilities of guerrilla warfare in a semitropical, swampy country. Toward the end of the struggle the Indians were forced from northern and central Florida into the Everglade section of the State. This contest is particularly noteworthy on account of the personality of Osceola, the brains of Seminole resistance, whose capture by treachery is an ineffaceable blot upon all who were connected with it and incidentally upon the record of the American Army. Diplomacy finally accomplished what force had failed to effect-the policy put in practice by Worth at the suggestion of General E. A. Hitchcock. The greater part of the hostile Indians surrendered and were sent to Oklahoma, where they were later granted a reservation of their own in .the western part of the Creek Nation.

Both the emigrants, who have now been allotted, and the small number who stayed behind in Florida have since had an uneventful history, except for their gradual absorption into the mass of the population, an absorption long delayed in the case of the Florida Seminole but nonetheless certain.

Seminole Population. Before the Creek-American war the number of Seminole was probably about 2,000; after that date the best estimates give about 5,000. Exclusive of one census which seems clearly too high, figures taken after the Seminole war indicate a gradual reduction of Seminole in Oklahoma from considerably under 4,000 to 2,500 in 1851. A new census, in 1857, gave 1,907, and after that time little change is indicated though actually the amount of Indian blood was probably declining steadily. In Florida the figures were: 370 in 1847, 348 in 1850, 450 in 1893, 565 in 1895, 358 in 1901, 446 in 1911, 600 in 1913, 562 in 1914, 573 in 1919, 586 in 1937. In 1930 there were 1,789 in Oklahoma, 227 in Florida, and 32 scattered in other States.

Connection in which they have become noted. The chief claim of this tribal confederation to distinction will always be the remarkable war which they sustained against the American Nation, the losses in men and money which they occasioned having been out of all proportion to the number of Indians concerned. The county in Oklahoma where most of the Seminole were sent at the end of the great war bears their name, as does a county in Florida, and it will always be associated with the Everglade country, where they made their last stand. Towns or post villages of the name are in Baldwin County, Alabama; Seminole County, Oklahoma; Armstrong County, Pennsylvania; and Gaines County, Texas



MLA Source Citation:

Swanton, John R. The Indian Tribes of North America. Bureau of American Ethnology, Bulletin 145. Washington DC: US Government Printing Office. 1953. AccessGenealogy.com. Web. 17 August 2014. http://www.accessgenealogy.com/native/seminole-indians.htm - Last updated on Apr 29th, 2012


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