The Seminoles Of Florida / Edition 1

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"The most comprehensive account of the history of the Florida Seminoles yet undertaken."--John K. Mahon, author of History of the Second Seminole War

The history of the Seminole Indians in Florida embodies a vital part of the tragic history of native and white American conflict throughout the entire United States. Drawing on widely scattered scholarship, including the oldest documents and recently discovered material, Covington gives us a complete account of the Florida Seminoles from their entrance into the state almost three hundred years ago, through the great chiefdoms of Micanopy, Osceola, and Billy Bowlegs, to the current political reality of democratic elections. (In fact one woman, Betty Mae Jumper, was elected tribal chairperson in both 1967 and 1969.)

After moving into the peninsula from Georgia and Alabama, the Seminoles fought three wars against the whites. By 1858, at the end of the final war, 90 percent of the tribe had been killed or forcibly removed to Oklahoma. Those who remained in chickees in the swampy grassland of south Florida comprised one of the last tribes in the country to retain cultural independence from whites. With the drainage of the Everglades and extension of highways and railroads into the area, the land the Indians lived on without legal title became prime real estate, and the Seminoles were evicted by the new white owners.

Covington brings the history of the tribe into this century as he describes the beginning of Seminole relocation to reservations, their participation in World War II, the inroads of Christianity in the 1940s, and the changes in tribal education, government, and agriculture and business ventures in the past three decades.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Covington chronicles the 300-year history of the Seminole Indians in Florida. His account of their plight moves from their migration from Georgia and Alabama, through the three wars against the whites and forcible removal to Oklahoma Indian Territory of 90 percent of the survivors in 1858, to the current life of the descendants of the people who refused to relocate or surrender. Using manuscript and published sources, Covington (history, Univ. of Tampa) writes a comprehensive history of these elusive Native Americans. Despite the existence of comparable books (Edwin McReynold's The Seminoles , Univ. of Oklahoma Pr., 1975, reprint; J. Leitch Wright Jr., Creeks and Seminoles , Univ. of Nebraska Pr., 1987), this book will stand as the definitive monograph until a Seminole chooses to offer a Native American perspective. Highly recommended.-- Susan Hamburger, Univ. of Virginia Lib., Charlottesville
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780813012049
  • Publisher: University Press of Florida
  • Publication date: 10/11/2011
  • Edition description: First
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 390
  • Sales rank: 786,648
  • Lexile: 1630L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.87 (d)

Meet the Author

James W. Covington is emeritus Dana Professor of History, University of Tampa, and the author of Story of Southwestern Florida, Under the Minarets, Plant's Palace: Henry Plant and the Tampa Bay Hotel, The Third Seminole War, and The British Meet the Seminoles. He has written some seventy articles about native Americans and about Florida history.

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Table of Contents

1 The Seminoles Come to Florida 3
2 Early Conflicts with White Americans 28
3 Prelude to War, 1821-1833 50
4 The Second Seminole War, Phase 1, 1835-1838 72
5 The Second Seminole War, Phase 2, 1838-1842 96
6 A Period of Crisis 110
7 The Final War, 1855-1858 128
8 Early Contacts and Establishment of a Reservation 145
9 Missionary Efforts and New Federal Reservations 165
10 Lucien A. Spencer and His Work, 1913-1931 177
11 Brighton and Big Cypress Reservations 201
12 The New Deal, World War II, and the Advance of Christianity 219
13 The Reservation Indians 233
14 The Miccosukee and Trail Indians 257
Epilogue 273
Appendix A. Seminole Census, 1913 275
Appendix B. Superintendents and Agents for the Federal Seminole Agency 289
Appendix C. State of Florida Indian Affairs Consultants, Chairs, or Commissioners 291
Appendix D. Boards of Directors and Tribal Councils 293
Notes 299
Bibliography 341
Index 355
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