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Title: Narrative of the early days and remembrances of Oceola Nikkanochee
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Title: Narrative of the early days and remembrances of Oceola Nikkanochee
Series Title: Narrative of the early days and remembrances of Oceola Nikkanochee
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Table of Contents
    Front Cover
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Full Text






n I

N r -L I'L
L. I LL./

I~-~-~nnnra I
F~I~:: ;~ ~ ~-1':"-~ ~;~`-`r----------- -













This child, 6o"atsis therefore mine."






rm l


rL PilOA Y.ISA. CLLW il. F,_' "S O...''.




> 2bortgintt' Prottetion odetptv.


THE benevolent designs of your
Society in behalf of the untaught children of the
wilderness, are in themselves sufficient to insure some
attention to this Book, more particularly when I assert
that it has been written exclusively for the benefit of
one who claims a high rank among his people, and
who is in every way deserving the kind attention he
daily experiences from the most distinguished cha-
racters of this country.

75 /2



As a production, I hesitate to submit it to the

perusal of gentlemen as famous for their literary
attainments as for their philanthropy; but as a work
penned for the motive already specified, as well as of
bringing this high-born Child of Nature into the notice
of that grade of society to which he undoubtedly

belongs by birth and parentage, I fearlessly venture to
dedicate to you my very humble effort.

With a high sense of admiration for your noble
exertions to relieve the sufferings, and at the same
time to enlighten the minds, of the Aborigines of all
nations, and with an earnest prayer to the great Giver

of life and reason that he may be pleased to crown
your undertakings with success,

I have the honour to be,


With much respect,

Your devoted Servant,


-- ~nn~a~ewmamE~ .1


IN compiling the following Narrative, I had no inten-
tion of bringing it before the public,-my object was to
record all the even, relating to the life and capture of
my protege with which I was acquainted ; as much as
I could obtain from himself, and from the report of
the soldiers by whom he was taken; in order, that in
the event of my death, the manuscript might inform
him of his origin and history, and at the same time
remind him of one who loved him with the fondness of
a father. In compliance, however, with the urgent
requests of many who take a warm interest in behalf
of this young nobleman-for such he may in truth be
called-and whose opinions and wishes I am bound to
treat with respect, I am induced to publish it.


To write the Biography of one in years, as dic-
tated by himself, whose memory is rife with all the
incidents of his existence since the first dawnings of
memory--and of one who probably possesses the
advantages of education; or the life of some emi-
nent character, whose history may be gleaned, in a
great measure, from publications, which have ever
elucidated the most trifling act or circumstance con-
nected with his private or public career-thus leaving
the Historian little more than the trouble of com-
piling what is already known to the greater propor-
tion of an intelligent community, may not be tasks
of difficulty; but, to undertake the narration of
events of one, not more than nine or ten years old;
the most romantic and interesting of which have
happened previous to the tender age of six or seven,
and one who has, until that early time of his life,
passed his days in a vast wilderness-whose intellects
have scarcely been allowed to expand beyond the pale
of instinct peculiar to all creatures in savage life-
is an undertaking fraught with embarrassment: yet,
in this I am sustained by the purity and innocence

pr M


of my young protege ; whose regard for truth is as
remarkable as his brilliancy of conception, and clear-
ness of expression.
More than three years have elapsed since Almighty
Providence first consigned this interesting Orphan to
my protection, and amply do I think myself rewarded
for any attention and kindness my humble means
have enabled me to bestow upon him, in the solace of
having wrested one so amiable and helpless from
ignorance, famine, toil, and wretchedness-to become,
I trust, in future years, an ornament to civilized
society, and a useful member in the community of
intellectual life.
It is not, however, without some diffidence that I
submit my humble production to the ordeal of the
press. Yet it would ill become me to shrink from my

duty to the child of my adoption, and withhold what I
hope and trust may be for his benefit, from a dread of
displeasing the refined judgment of the critic, or of

incurring the censures of the enemies of benevolence.
I am not without the hope, also, that this little book
may assist in exciting the attention of Englishmen to



the sufferings of a most interesting part of the human
family, hitherto strangely overlooked; and that the
Boy himself may eventually become the instrument of
diffusing Christianity and peace among the remnants
of his race, the only means of saving the RED MAN
from utter extinction.


April, 1841.






"Man, only, mars kind nature's plan,
And turns the fierce pursuit on man."

THE Seminoles appear to be a mixed tribe,

having sprung chiefly from the wandering

Creeks and Muscogulgees, who formerly fled

the persecutions of the western districts; they

also formed alliances in Florida with the

Appalachees, Yemassees, and others. In pro-

cess of time this newly formed tribe increased

in numbers, and settled on the banks of the

Chattahoochee and Coaeta rivers, not far from

the approaching encroachments of what are

called civiziled men, or whites; unhappily,
among this class there are never wanting indi-
viduals, who, from interested motives, are always
ready to foment wars and disputes between the
neighboring Indian tribes.
Without doubt too, they themselves possess
the same laudable incitements to war which
stimulate their more enlightened brethren-
ambition, jealousy, revenge, love of conquest or
gain. From some or other of these causes the
Appalachees were induced to take up arms
against this new, but now formidable tribe, the
Seminoles; at this time the latter held possession
of the settlements on the rivers Suwanney,
Mikkasukey, and Talahassee, while colonies
sprang up in other quarters, forming nations
equally independent, and almost as formidable
as their neighbours.
The Scminole Indians have retained all the
daring spirit and fortitude peculiar to their wild




progenitors.-In the battle-field their prowess
has ever been acknowledged by their white
enemies; and like all brave people, much may
be said of their forbearance, previous to the
commencement of hostilities; and of their gra-
titude, even in war, to those from whom they
had formerly received kindness.
It is true that Indians have, in common with
other nations, their peculiar failings; but I do
not hesitate to aver, that they rarely commit a
single act which comes within their code of
crimes, but at the instigation of civilized men;
either through base example, or by the intro-
duction of that poison of the mind and body,
Formerly an Indian's word could be taken
with confidence, even for his return within a
given time, to undergo the sentence of death-
the great Regulus could have done no more-
and to this day such instances of romantic

El __

honour and fortitude in these uneducated sons
of the forest, are by no means rare. -
They are ferocious and relentless in battle, at
times it must be confessed, sparing neither age
nor sex; but they are early taught to estimate
every act of carnage towards their foes as a
virtue; and the very scalps produced at their
council fires, are there viewed as commendable
and honourable trophies; and are greeted by
them with as much respect as captured flags
and banners, when exhibited at the cities of
Washington or London. It must be borne in
mind, that the scalp is taken only after the
death of the vanquished, as a proof of the
success of the conqueror, and a warrior is esti-
mated according to the number he possesses.
With regard to scalping, to which the Indians
attach not the least ideas of cruelty, or even
impropriety, with deep sorrow 1 avow it is not
unfrequently practised by the whites, who can


- rra~llli~e~a~snrraii~r~~

have no plea for such an act-and under cir-
cumstances too, which cannot fail of exciting
our strongest disgust. Portions of skin have
been cut from the bodies of Indians, and hung
up in the houses of white men, as proofs of
prowess-portions of the same have been con-
verted into razor-strops; and I once shrunk
with horror-not at the sight of a scalp, but
that such a trophy should have been exhibited by
the hand of a beautiful and highly-accomplished
girl, in a drawing room, who triumphantly
boasted that her brother had severed it from the
head of an Indian enemy !!
It is hardly necessary to say that Indians are
as susceptible of kindness as they are revengeful
of injuries; my intimate acquaintance with
them, has inspired me with a high respect for
their social and domestic character. I will
mention one or two instances in their favour,
out of many:-At Dade's battle, one hundred


El -~

and twelve, out of one hundred and fourteen
of the white soldiers, under the command of
Major Dade, were killed. One of the survivors
was about being despatched by a Seminole,
when, after the Indian had refused the soldier's
proffered money, he recollected that he had
recently assisted him in fitting a handle to his
axe: even this simple act of civility was remem.
bered by the red man, and proved the means of
saving the life of an enemy.
Another instance of gratitude in Indian life,
of a more prominent character, came under my
personal observation. Previous to the war,
many of the Seminole Tribe were in the habit
of visiting me, at my plantation, on the banks
of the river St. John. Among my red friends,
were two sub-chiefs, who, with their wives and
children, were invariably treated with that
urbanity and kindness, due to their station and
respectable deportment,



These worthy people generally came accom-
panied by others of the tribe, who never failed
to bring with them some token of gratitude for
the attention shewn them by my wife and
myself; such as presents of venison, wild turkey,
&c. It was not long subsequent to this good
understanding that the war took place, and the
consequent burning and destruction of property.
The whole neighbourho6d fled from the terrible
vengeance of the maltreated Indians, and I,
with others, deemed it better to abandon my
property, fearing the incursion of some of the
tribe, who might not have been aware of my
friendly feeling towards them.
Not long after the departure of myself and
family, two extensive establishments, one within
a quarter of a mile, and the other not more than
one mile from my residence, were burned to the
ground by Indians. Yet, although they came
to my house, and cooked food at my hearth,


they injured nothing. Five years have elapsed
since that period, and to this day my property
has suffered but by the common ravages of time
upon unoccupied buildings; and I feel assured
I could have continued to live in safety in my
"sweet retirement" to the present moment, but
from the risk of strange Indians, whose wives
or children had fallen sacrifices to the unsparing
hands of the white dwellers upon the Indian
Englishmen have hitherto known little or
nothing of these people; but in defiance of all
prejudices against what are called savages-
people differing so widely in their customs and
political institutions from ourselves (which, be
it remembered, are well and wisely adapted to
their mode of life) my own experience leads me
to the conclusion, that viewing vice and crime,
as felt and acknowledged by each race-if I am
not greatly mistaken, infinitely less will be


found connected with that state of existence
which we are apt to look upon as inferior.
With regard to America generally, I do not
mean to imply% that the feeling of prejudice
against Indians, extends throughout the United
States; on the contrary, I feel assured that
young Oceola would have been as warmly
received in New York or Boston, as he has been
in London.
The accounts of all travellers who have visited
Indians in their native wilds, as well as the
histories by the first discoverers in America,
unite in proving that the Almighty Creator of
us all, has endowed his red children with moral
and physical qualities of the highest order of
excellence; their intelligence also is remarkable.
It is melancholy to contemplate their wasting,
to use their own language, "like snow before
the sun." They seem only to require proper
means, to recover that state of happiness they

I-__ I


possessed when unmolested and uncontaminated
by the white man.
Before the "Armed Boot" supplanted the
Moccassirn on the shores of America, their's
appears to have been a "golden age"-un-
restrained by laws of any denomination, their
actions were guided solely by the dictates of
virtue-crime was then unknown-and when
the bonds of society were in the least violated,
to have merited the contempt of a high-souled,
chivalric people, was sufficient punishment for
the offender; and such is the state of society, as
it at present exists among those tribes who
dwell near the base of the Rocky Mountains,
who have not yet come under the pale of
Mr. Catlin, in his interesting lectures upon
"the manners and customs of the North
American Indians," describes the primitive
tribes as ignorant of vice of any description; he



dwelt many years among them, and declares,
that during the whole period he was universally
treated with hospitality and kindness-that
they never stole from him to the value of a
shilling; but that on his parting with them
they loaded him with presents, and consigned
him to the care of the Great Spirit."
My fancy is always fired, and my imagination
kindles, as I dwell upon the wrongs and sorrows
of these people.
Notwithstanding the vices which have been
introduced among the Seminoles, there is some-
thing in the erect and manly form-in the
proud bearing and confident demeanour, and in
the graceful movements of the males, which
impresses the eye of the beholder, and seems to
remind him that they are the legitimate pro-
prietors of the soil, from which their more
enlightened neighbours are cndeavouring to
eject them.

- --- ------------^ I I


A cursory glance at the policy pursued by
the American Government, and by individuals
towards the aborigines of this country, will
convince the most indifferent observer that
they have been unjustly used, and basely
Some apology may be found for the present
generations in Florida, in the circumstance, that
they or their immediate ancestors have suffered
much in their struggles and desperate encounters
with them, while preparing for themselves a
home in the wilderness; and it is natural that
they should feel risings of indignation against
a race of men, with whom they have been
almost constantly at war; since, at such times,
men are not accustomed to regard the justice
or injustice of the origin of their quarrels, but
throw the burden of blame upon their enemies.
But when a few more centuries shall have
passed away-when the tales of cruelty practised


upon present and former generations shall have
become mitigated and softened by the lapse of
time-when the present excited feelings shall
have subsided, and when distance from the scene
shall have mellowed down the light reflected
from the funeral pyres, erected by the Red Man
for their civilized encroachers-then will pos-
terity view them in their true light,-and future
ages, instead of wondering at their "inhuman
barbarities," will be more surprised that one of
them continued an ally of the whites, or that
'one magnanimous or generous deed was ever
extended towards the intruders on their soil.
If the Indians were cruel-posterity will see
that they were cruelly provoked by those claim-
ing to be Christians;-If they were revengeful-
that they only followed the example of the
white man, who not only indulged in the same
unhallowed passions, but who added avarice,
rapine, and debauchery to their list of crimes.




If the Red Man retaliated injuries, the provoca-
tion had been tenfold on the part of the whites;
who pursued them on their own soil, and through
their native forests, with all the rapacity with
which the half famished wolf pursues his prey.
I know of no objects that have a higher claim
upon the sympathies of the world, than the
remnants of these, once formidable tribes,
scattered over the broad surface of America;
now fast disappearing before the onward march
of emigration and civilization. How striking
the contrast! These men, lords of the soil
they once held undisputed as their birthright,
-where they roamed in all the majesty of
uncultivated, yet, noble human nature-are now
become objects of oppression and extermination.
We shudder when we call to mind, tales to
which we listened in early boyhood, of Indian
cruelties; but can our riper years find no pal-
liation? Read the language of the Red Man,

- ~---------------Fm

and then say if his cruelties were ever commen-
surate with the ingratitude of the whites.-" We
took you by the hand" say they, and bade you
welcome to sit down by our side, and live with
us as brothers-but how did you requite our
kindness ? You at first asked only a little of our
land-we gave it-you requested more-it was
given,-but not satisfied with this, you would
monopolize the game of our forest-you seized
upon all our most pleasant places, and drove us
from the hunting and burial grounds of our
Their language is emphatically true; although
by the laws of nations, the discoverers of this
Continent claimed a right to take possession and
plant colonies in the, then, wilds of America;
they were cruelly unjust to seize upon the places
which had been to the Indians the homes of
their ancestors, and had descended to themselves.
As they slowly and sullenly retired from their


Yu I


pleasant places," the whites pressed hard upon
them, and ever since the day they first granted
them a little land," they have been following
their retreating footsteps, like the advancing
billows of an angry ocean.
When we reproach the Indians with in-
humanity in their mode of warfare-do we
reflect that they are but uncivilized men,-that
their ideas of right are rendered sacred by practice
and tradition, handed down from time imme-
morial? If civilized nations rise as one man,
when their rights are invaded or their territories
encroached upon; is it matter of surprise that
untaught Indians turn their tomahawks against
the whites, when they endeavour to deprive
them of that which they regarded as most sacred
and dear?
As for cruelty, you will in vain search for
examples among the traditions and annals of the
past, to exceed those imposed upon the Red Man

-L~ rsim

by the Whites, or to which their Indian allies
have been instigated and encouraged; through
which means, they sought to rid themselves of
the odium of barbarity.
In reading of the rise and fall of civilized
nations, with all the attendant wrongs and
oppressions, our indignation becomes excited.
Yet a relation of the wrongs and usurpations of
civilized men over the confiding Indians of
America, is a relation far more replete with
cruelty-they have not only been deprived of
their rights, but have been degraded in soul and
body, and now, alas! are fading away, forgotten,
to their graves, or, if perchance remembered-
only to be stigmatized as "brutal savages."
It may be necessary, before we give an account
of the family of the young Prince, to observe,
that no name is ever bestowed by Indians, upon
a young Iste-Chatti, or Red Child, without
some particular meaning attached to it; which



name, is often changed in after years, to one
corresponding better to the age or circum-
stances of maturity; thus an infant may be
called Green-bush, from its having first drawn
breath beneath that verdant screen of nature.
Another will be named Oceola, Rising Sun
-Hutte-chumba, Evening-Star Nathle-oce,
Setting Moon-according to the time of its
birth. And when arrived at Man's Estate,"
in consequence of some peculiarity or physical
structure, he will be spoken of as, Ulwe,
tall-Chatqua, small-Saputhatkee, light; or
by some act of heroism, either with a human
enemy or one no less ferocious, he may be
invested with a more formidable appellation,
as, Catsha, tiger-Yaha, wolf-Halputta, alli-
gator, &c.
The meaning of Nikkanochee, the name con-
ferred upon the subject of this narrative by his
Indian relations, I have hitherto been unable

-- -------- ------~ i -q~y,


to discover. Oceola and Econchatti, I have
added to his given name, that he may bear in
remembrance, he is nephew and son of two of
the most noble and distinguished Chiefs, the
Floridas perhaps ever yet produced.





The steady brain, the sinewy limb,
To leap, to climb, to dive, to swim;
The iron frame, inured to bear
Each dire inclemency of air."

"Brief, brave, and glorious was his yoang career."

From the preceding account of the Seminole

Indians, my reader will be in some measure

prepared for the introduction of a character of

the greatest renown in Florida; of whom, both

as a man and as a warrior, but one opinion is

entertained by his friends and his enemies.

Conspicuous among his own nation for his

courage and his bodily strength, he rendered

himself no less the terror of the pale-faces

during war, than le was universally known to

have been generous and kind, previous to the
commencement of hostilities-he was a husband
and a father, but all that is known of his family,
subsequent to his death, is, that they, with
other Indian prisoners, underwent the sentence
of banishment to the Far West."
It is gratifying to know, that at present at
Itast, a scion from so noble a stock has been
livedd from the ruthless destroyers of himself
and his tribe; the boy whom I have been the
happy means of preserving, being the son of
Oceola's sister.
It has frequently been asserted in the United
States of America, that Oceola, the great
Master Spirit of the Seminoles, was of mixed
blood. Some have declared him to be half
Spanish-others that his father was an English-
man, named Powel-another has given the
honor of his being, to a Scotchman, whilst some
have asserted that he received an education at


the Military College at West Point, in the State
of hNea York,. and consequently that he was
thoroughly conversant with the English lan-
guage. The tribe from which this renowned
Chief sprang, has been as freely discussed; some
have attributed his birth to the Creek nation-
others to the Mikkasookies, and a few to the
From the warm interest I have at all times
taken in matters concerning Indians, I have
been induced to investigate cautiously, their
manners, customs and history. The former, are
open to any observing character, who will be at
the pains of visiting them in their abodes, when
not engaged in war. When at peace, they are
kind and hospitable, and are willing to impart
any information to the curious traveller. Their
history is but little known, owing to the few
intelligent whites, who are sufficiently acquaint-
ed with their language. Yet, almost every one,

who has in any manner, associated with Indians,
pretends to a knowledge of their general charac-
ter, and is proud to be considered a good
Judging from all I have been enabled to learn
of the Chief Oceola from other Indians, and
from respectable white men, who knew him
from childhood, he was undoutitedly, a tho-
rough-bred Seminole. I am borne out in this
opinion by Mr. Catlin, who is probably, better
acquainted with the physical, as well as moral
structure of these people, than any other white
man living; he painted an excellent likeness of
this celebrated warrior, only four days previous
to his death, in a prison at Charleston, South
Carolina: which picture, stands conspicuous
amidst hundreds of other portraits of Indians,
in the elaborate collection, now exhibiting -at
the Egyptian Hall. Mr. Catlin, of course, had
as fair an opportunity of forming a judgment,

I p

by the countenance of Oceola, as most men; he
informs me, that his general appearance, and
character, was that of a thorough-bred wild
Indian, and that he did not seem, even to com-
prehend the English language.
But little became known to the white inhabi-
tants of America, of the valorous spirit of
Oceola, until the commencement of the unhappy
Seminolee war, previous to which, when only a
youth, he had distinguished himself among his
own people, in some severe battles with the
neighboring tribes.
In the intermediate space of time, he seems
to have led the wandering, careless life of a
hunter, when his only opportunities of signal-
izing himself, were in his perilous encounters
with the prowling monsters of the forest, to
which he often proved a mortal enemy.
It was not until the latter end of the year
1835, that the energies of Oceola were roused

-5 IC -~-~II~

into full vigor. At this time an effort was
made by the Pseudo-Americans-the whites,-
to expatriate the true lords of the soil, from the
homes of their fathers, and send them away to
the "far west;" where thousands had already
perished by change of climate, grief, or dissen-
tions with the different tribes, who had been
mercilessly huddled together by treacherous
mock treaties, on lands insufficient in extent
and quality, to supply game and other neces-
saries, on which, they had hitherto depended
in the more congenial climes of the South;
consequently wars ensued among themselves,
which, with the aid of whiskey, plentifully
supplied by their Christian neighbours, soon
reduced their numbers.
In December, 1835, a meeting or "Talk,"
as it is expressed by Indians, was held at Camp
King, at which two hundred and fifty red
warriors assembled, met by a battalion of white


soldiers, under command of General Clinch, who
was accompanied by several other officers of
A council of Indians, held in their native
wilds, upon the green carpet of nature, under
the broad canopy of heaven, is, to a reflecting
mind, a spectacle replete with solemnity and
interest. The wide expanding, densely-foliaged
oak, from whose thousand branches, hang in the
beauty of neglected nature, in festoons and
strips of many feet, the moss, peculiar to the
southern States of North America-the stately
pine-the sturdy hickory-and the splendid
magnolia-all lend their aid to blend in the coup
d'ceil, a fitting place for purpose deep.
In scenes similar to this, the chiefs and elders
meet to determine the course to be adopted in
all cases of emergency; here the small remnant
of a powerful and warlike tribe, met to decide
upon peace or war, in which millions of civilized

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men, with all the arts and implements of battle,
were pitted against a few hundreds of poor
persecuted Indians.
On one side of the conclave alluded to, sat in
purse-proud state, General Wiley Thompson,
one of those subtle minions of power, who are
appointed by Congress, as agents from the
United States, to treat with Indians for purchase
or exchange of lands; at the same time he is
expected to protect the tribe, he thus becomes
attached to, from wrongs and oppressions of the
neighboring whites, and report to the go-
vernment a true and impartial statement of the
negotiation he is empowered to conduct.
This appointment would be considered, by
one unacquainted with the general character of
Indian agents, a post of some respectability, and
so it may be, when occupied by honest men;
but in this instance, General Thompson opened
a shop, for the purpose of trading with the


aborigines, from which he issued Whiskey,,
Tomahawks, Spears, Gunpowder, and Rifles;
thus providing in the first place, an incentive to
their no less deadly weapons; in exchange for
Otter-skins, Deer-skins, and Cattle-hides; arti-
cles easily conveyed to a northern market, by
which he accumulated considerable wealth.
Independently of this villainous mode of traffic,
wherein the Seminoles were invariably cheated,
he employed many in laborious occupations, a
neglect of which, insured them severe chastise-
ment, summarily executed, by twisted strips of
hide, applied to the bare skin, whilst the poor
victim of oppression was bound to a tree. But
the day of vengeance was at hand:-the very
Rifle which Thompson had gratuitously pre-
sented to Oceola, with a view to conciliate him
for cruelties inflicted upon his fellows, was the
weapon, by which he expiated his manifold sins
against this generous people.



After a preliminary address from General
Clinch, seconded by General Thompson, setting
forth the advantages of the treaty they wished
to enforce, and to which some of the Indian
Chiefs replied in their beautiful figurative
language; -a deed of contract, binding the Semi-
noles to give up their lands in Florida, to the
United States' government, in exchange for
others in a distant country, was placed upon the
table, and application made to the principal
warriors, to attach their + thereunto. An
imbecile old Chief, called Enematkla, was the
first to declare himself a traitor to his tribe, by
affixing his sign-manual; he was followed by
a few others of inferior grade, until it was sub-
mitted to Oceola, who, with all the pride of
offended dignity thus offered to himself and his
countrymen, with indignation sparkling in his
eye, and a contemptuous curl of the lip, drew
from his bosom a dagger, and with a countenance


that seemed to strike terror into all by whom he
was opposed, he hurled the trusty steel with such
force into the hateful document, that it passed
fairly through the table-exclaiming at the same
time, THEREE 1- llY MARK "

All was so quick that it might seem,
A flash of lightning, or a dream."

General Clinch thought this a clincher; Wiley
Thompson looked more wily, and all the sur-
rounding white men grew whiter; each stood
aghast in astonishment, as the undaunted young
hero firmly gripped the handle of his deeply
buried weapon, and bade defiance to all the
fully armed warriors, by whom he was encircled.
For this novel mode of signing with a steelpen,
by which matters were so speedily brought to a
point, Oceola was immediately seized upon, and
so tightly bound to a* tree, that the cords by
which he was confined, cut deeply into the flesh;



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evidences of which were clearly exhibited when
Mr. Catlin painted his likeness, two years sub-
sequent to this disgraceful transaction. After
being half suspended in this torturing position
forty-eight hours, he was released to undergo
the full penalty of his temerity : iron fetters now
fisurped the place of ropes, and solitary confine-
ment was added to his overflowing cup of misery!
but nought at this time, could subdue the
indomitable spirit of this high-souled Chief; he
spurned their shackles, as he had defied their
hempen bonds, and in all probability would
have perished, rather than have yielded to such
inhuman oppression; but he reflected that the
fate of his tribe depended, in a great measure,
upon his presence among them. This feeling
of affection for his country, and his kindred,
alone induced him to feign contrition for the
alleged offence he had offered to the heads of a
people calling themselves Christians.



In full confidence, that the cruelties inflicted
upon Oceola, would operate as a warning to
others of his tribe, he was liberated. It
was not likely, that a soul sufficiently daring
to have acted as he had done, could readily
forgive the indignities so recently heaped upon
him : no sooner was the captive free, than, with
his companions in arms, who waited anxiously
to receive him, he caused the deep forest to re-
echo the well known WAR-WHOOP, as a signal for
Enamatkla was forthwith shot as a traitor, and
General Wiley Thompson, with five others who
had the misfortune to be with him at the time,
fell before their unerring rifles. Oceola first
despatching Thompson, with the rifle I before
stated he had offered as a present, to conciliate
his determined enemy.
Oceola now sent a negro to. General Clinch,
to inform him that he possessed 150 barrels of


gunpowder, which should all be consumed
before his people could be conquered, and that
he would lead the cheating 'pale-faces' a dance
of five years, for their insolence towards himself
and his warriors.
Although the brave Oceola did not live to
see his prediction fulfilled, of leading the "pale-
faces a dance of five years," yet true enough,
this little band of warriors have maintained
their ground for the time specified; at the loss
of upwards of eighteen hundred men, and an
expense of more than six millions sterling to
the United States. In the battle of Ouithla-
coochee, Oceola was known to have fought with
desperate valour. At the same.time that the
woods resounded with peals of musketry, and
the fierce, sharp cracks of the Indian rifles,
accompanied by appalling war-whoops; his voice
was distinctly heard, calling to his warriors

"Take away the wounded, never mind the
At Dade's battle, as it is denominated by the
Americans, one hundred and twelve of the
whites were killed by Indians, only two escaping
out of one hundred and fourteen. These soldiers,
commanded by Major Dade, were marching,
fully armed, attended by a six-pounder cannon
drawn by oxen, and a waggon containing arms
and ammunition, through the heart of an
enemy's country. Yet the killing of these
men by the Seminoles, is stigmatized as a
Horrible Massacre, and the memory of Dade
revered as a martyr.-At the same time, unarmed
Red Men, with their wives and children, were
daily slaughtered-these were Glorious Achieve-
ments !
When the remains of Major Dade and his
soldiers were discovered by the Americans,
many days after this unfortunate circumstance,


it was remarked, that not a single article of
value was taken from the bodies-watches and
valuable rings were found upon the officers,
unmolested. The savage spurns to rob the
dead! How many of these ornaments would
have remained upon the bodies of Indians,
under similar circumstances?
During a series of battles, in which the whites
were invariably repulsed, Oceola signalized
himself for good generalship and courage, and
if, at any time he had recourse to stratagem, he
was fully authorized in so doing, by the frequent
treacherous attempts, made by his enemies, to
entrap him.
On the 6th of October, 1836, the garrison at
Fort Drane was so reduced for provisions, having
been besieged for a length of time by the
Indians, that the white troops were glad to hold
a parley with Oceola, and invited him, through
Captain Hitchcock, with a flag of truce, to


approach the fort, In full confidence he came,
attended by three hundred warriors; when he
informed the Captain that he knew the soldiers
were in a desperate state, bordering upon star-
vation, and that, at that moment, they were
subsisting upon the flesh of horses and dogs; at
the same time, he generously offered his enemies
an ox and some brandy.
During this conference, General Clinch ap-
peared with a strong reinforcement, and made
an essay to capture the generous Oceola and his
warriors, in defiance of thee flag of truce, which
he must have seen, as he was near enough to
fire upon the Indians.
The liberty of this heroic young warrior was
not of long endurance-one year more, and his
brilliant career closed for ever! October 20th,
1837, was a day appointed for Oceola to meet
General Hernandez, with a view to form some
arrangement, by which this unjust war might

h I


be brought to a close. Accordingly, Oceola
again appeared under a flag of truce, when, as
is briefly described in a Florida newspaper-
" General Jessup so arranged the soldiers under
command of General Hernandez; that, at a
preconcerted signal, the whole of Oceola's band
should be surrounded; which ruse de guerre was
performed to admiration; when the crest-fallen
hero of the Seminoles and his partizans laid
down their rifles." This statement is false--the
Indians had not laid down their rifles, but had,
according to agreement with General Hernandez,
placed them against a tree, and as soon as the
white troops showed themselves, they were
immediately seized upon, leaving the Indians
Thus fell into the hands of their treacherous
enemies, the renowned, the brave, the good
Oceola, with upwards of eighty of his principal

warriors, together with _his_ apze and son (a

young boy) and two other Indian women.

"The eagle-plumes droop o'er his piercing eyes,
The fire of youth was there;-
The fire of youth still brightened the look,
But their lustre was dimm'd by despair."
M. A. W.

Never was a more disgraceful piece of villainy
perpetrated in a civilized land-the Americans
have no plea, by which they can justify such a
violation of the law of nations. As they had,
throughout the war, and on all previous occasions,
acknowledged the Seminoles as an independent
people, by forming treaties with them, and
receiving their chiefs as ambassadors, the govern-
ment of the United States could not have
considered them as rebels.
Poor Oceola! with his wife and child, and
his brave followers, was confined but a short
time in the fort at St. Augustine, in East Florida;

when, for the better security of the victims,
the government ordered their removal to Sul-
livan's Island, near Charleston, and there-in a
dungeon-the spirit of Oceola fled for ever!
There was a touching commentary on woman's
worth, displayed in the dying hour of the
Seminole Chieftain. The stern warrior, who
had passed through life without having, in
appearance, done aught to win the imperishable
love of devoted woman, yet expired with his
head pillowed on a female bosom.
Cold as the heart of the savage is supposed to
be, in regard to the social and domestic feelings,
the death-couch of Oceola yields triumphant
evidence of the Indian's submission to the sway
of the affections.
A captive, and to add to the bitterness of
imprisonment, treacherously captured-smarting
under a sense of his nation's many wrongs-
feeling, that with his death was lost the sole




chance for the deliverance of his people, from
the avaricious power of the white man. It may
well be conceived, that the soul of the Chief was
filled with emotion, and that he had but few
feelings to spare, in exercises of the love and
sympathies of life.
But the power of woman mastered the keen re-
membrances of the Indian's manifold grievances,
and the voice of his faithful wife, as she wiped
from his brow the death damps, fell gratefully
and soothingly upon the ebbing senses of the
In witnessing the entire devotion, and patient
love of his too wretched wife, the Indian forgot
his injuries, and the indomitable spirit, so often
flashing in the van of battle, passed away, with
a murmur of love to her, the companion of his
freedom, and the sharer of his prison !

_ _


Go to thy rest,-
Not where the green and tall magnolias bow,
Slowly and solemnly their lofty crests--
Above the violet grass we lay thee now !

Not where the pine
With dreary sighing answered back thy tread,
When forest dwellers made beneath its shrine,
The ancient places of their silent dead,-

Not where the stream
Beneath the arching wild vine, whispers low,
With spirit-voices-when the sun's last beam
Falls, where it bathes the warrior's dust-we go.

To thy dark bed
We would not, that their music's wail should come,
Nor see them bend the plumed and glittering head,
In stately mourning to the deep-toned drum.

They mock us well,-
With banner waving, and that hollow sound;
Long pealing from the battlements, to tell
That thou, our brave, hast ransom found.


Why should they grieve,
E'en while their pale blood curdles to the heart,
Beside thy grave,-that thou their bonds canst leave,
And to our fathers' hunting fields depart?*

We do not weep-
The Red Man hath no tear to shed for thee,-
Smiling, we gaze upon the dreamless sleep,
The fortress broken, and the captive free.

Hither we bring,
Ere yet this earth on thy cold brow we lay,
Thy Boy,-for one wild moment here to .cling,
In love's first sorrow, to those lips of clay.

Bend low and near,-
Nor sigh, or moan must break our Chief's repose-
Yet, Boy-on thy young heart be written here,
A deep and burning memory of his foes !

We ask not fame,-
We call not vengeance for the faith we gave;
Trace in the language of your land his name,
And show your sons the SEMINOLE'S GRAVE.

Indians believe that if they are brave and good in this
world, they will be rewarded in ihu next by being placed in
excellent hunting grounds. ..,B

. J

-~P~B~i~i~---~ I



The sympathy of the Americans for the death
of Oceola ran so high, that they buried him
with military honours due to a general; and,
with a tardy appreciation of his character, indi-
cative more of a puling sentimentality, than a
love of justice, or admiration of his worth, they
exalt their victim into a hero of romance.
Oceola was interred at Fort Moultrie, near
Charleston;-over his grave is a handsome mar-
ble monument, on which is inscribed


I cannot take leave of this melancholy part of
the narrative, without laying before my readers
another beautiful piece of poetry, written by
Alfred Street, an American; which, like the
last, is full of fire, and breathes a manly and
generous feeling towards the departed hero.



SThe rich blue sky is o'er,
Around are the tall green trees,
And the jessamine's breath from the everglade
Is borne on the wandering breeze.
On the mingled grass and flowers
Is a fierce and threatening form,
That looks like an eagle when pluming his wing
To brave the gathering storm.

His rifle within his grasp-
The bright plume o'er his head-
His features are clothed with a warrior's pride,
And he moves with a monarch's tread.
He bends his listening ear,
He peers through the tangled screen,
And he smiles with joy, as the flash of steel
Through the everglade's grass is seen.


One wave of his stalwart arm,
Wild forms around him stand,
And his eye glares bright with triumphant light,
As he looks at his swarthy band.
Nearer the bayonets' gleam-
At the edge of the hammock now,
The pale-face ranks are rallying,
But they seek in vain the foe.

They see in that lovely scene
But the humming-bird o'er the flowers,
And the glittering wing of the paroquet
In the cool and fragrant bowers.
But hark! from the cypress shade,-
From the bay-tree's glossy leaves,
And the nooks where the vine from bough to bough,
Its serpentine festoon weaves;-

The loud, shrill warwhoops burst
On the soft and sleeping air,
And quick, bright darts of surrounding death
Are fearfully glancing there.
The eagle with fierce delight
Abroad has his pinions cast,
And he shrinks as he bathes in the crimson rain,
And sweeps through the whizzing blast.

A hammock, or hummock, is a dense wood with thick jungle or


The battle-storm is o'er-
The hammock is reeking red-
But who looks there with victorious smile,
On the heaps of the pale-face dead ?
'Tis a tribe's young warrior Chief!
The deeds of whose vengeful flame,
Have filled the ear of a mighty land
With the terror of his name.


In a dark and dungeon room
Is stretched a mighty form,
And it shakes in its dreadful agony,
Like a leaf in the autumn storm.
No pillar'd palmetto hangs
Its tuft in the clear, bright air;
But a sorrowing group, and the narrow wall,
And a smouldering hearth are there.

The white froth on his lip,
His trembling, gasping breath,-
And the hollow rattle in his throat,
Proclaim the conqueror-death.
'Tis the proud, victorious Chief,
Who smiled 'mid the pale-face slain;
'Tis the eagle that swept through the whizzing blast,
And bathed in the crimson rain.

For his own green forest home,
He had struggled long and well;
But the soul that had breasted a nation's arms
At the touch of a fetter, fell.
He had worn wild freedom's crown
On his bright, unconquered brow,
Since he first saw the light of his beautiful skies:
It was gone for ever now !

But still, in his last dread hour,
Did not bright visions come !
Bright visions that shed a golden gleam
On the darkness of his doom ?
They calm'd his throbbing pulse,
And they hung on his muttering breath;
The spray thrown up from life's frenzied flood
Plunging on to the gulf of death.

The close walls shrunk away ;-
Above was the stainless sky,
And the lakes, with their floating isles of flowers,
Spread glittering to his eye.
O'er his hut the live-oak spread
Its branching, gigantic shade,
With its dots of leaves, and its robes of moss,
Broad, blackening on the glade.


But a sterner sight is round,
Battle's wild torrent is there,-
The tomahawk gleams, and the red blood streams,
And the war-whoops rend the air.
At the head of his faithful band,
He peals forth his terrible cry,
As he fiercely leaps 'mid the slaughtered heaps
Of the foe, that but fought to die.

One gasp-and the eye is glazed,
And still is the stiffening clay;
The eagle soul of the Chief had passed
On the battle's flood away !



SWhat is country-name-fame-fortune-
When all powerful love steps in,
And wages war against them ?"

I digress so far from the course of my nar-

rative, as to introduce two personages, who may

appear very much in the characters of a hero

and heroine of romance; still, the circumstances

of which I am about to speak, are facts, related

to me by one intimately acquainted with

Captain Graham, and by whom the following

interesting tale was communicated.

John Graham, about three years previous to

the Seminole war, arrived in St. Augustine, a

Lieutenant in a regiment of dragoons, where
many a fair "southerner" sighed for the tall,
athletic, yet graceful form of the fair-haired
Officer, whose highly-polished manners corres-
ponded well with his manly beauty; but the
heart of young Graham was not to be taken by
all the combined allurements of beauty, wealth,
or high accomplishments. In vain they whirled
the giddy mazes of the dance, or tried the more
fascinating charms of music-he withstood the
siege of a hundred gazelle eyes-yet remained
firm and unsubdued, until ordered to the frontier
encampment, on the Indian boundary line.
Here, in the wilds of nature, Graham felt a
passion for the charms of perfect freedom in
sylvan life. He remembered many tales in the
romantic history of Scotland, the land of his
forefathers, of clans headed by Chiefs of his own
name, and compared their rude character with
the Indians, with whom lie was now destined


to hold frequent intercourse; he was surprised
to find a striking similarity in dress, and many
of their manners and customs, to those of the
ancient Highlanders.
* He sought their society, and soon selected a
young Chief, at this time of no great notoriety,
as his friend, and almost constant companion.
This bold and hardy warrior, then about the
same age as himself, was no other than Oceola,
whose subsequent deeds of valour and military
discretion, astonished, and at the same time,
struck admiration into the hearts of his enemies.
These young heroes soon established a friend-
ship of no ordinary character-their hearts
became as thoroughly amalgamated, as welded
gold and silver-together they followed the
chase, and many were "the hair-breadth 'scapes"
and toils endured by these singularly contrasted
s-pecimens of civilized refinement, and rude, yet
haughty grandeur of savage life.


Than Graham, a more perfect specimen of
manly beauty-chivalric bearing-and gentle.
manly deportment, could seldom be realized-
few maidens could have resisted the soft blan-
dishments of his addresses.
Oceola was tall, and of a spare-habit-his
limbs were well proportioned, and his complexion
of the olive-red peculiar to his tribe -his features
were not decidedly handsome, yet on scruti-
nizing his face, there was nothing with which
one could be dissatisfied-hs44e.t ee regular
-his nose rather Grecian than otherwise-but
the eye! "that herald of the soul"-was, in
itself, constituted to command; when under
excitement, it flashed fury and stern resolve-
but when aiding its alt g al he ell-
formed mouth, in a smile-it warmed the very
heart of its beholder with its beams of kindness.
It was on one of those glowing evenings of
the sunny south, when the clouds are gilded in


L- -- ..~....I i I


splendour, to await the departing god of light-
after a hard day's toil, in pursuit of a tiger,
which at last fell wounded by the rifle of
Graham, and was finally despatched by the
tomahawk of his swarthy friend, that the young
officer first experienced the witchery of love.
* Wearied and feverish from excitement, in a
climate to which his system had scarcely yet
become reconciled, he gladly accepted the prof-
fered hammock of netted grass, suspended by
Nathleocee, Oceola's niece, beneath the umbra-
geous, wide-spreading branches of a large oak
tree, from whose limbs hung the graceful, yet
melancholy looking moss-at times in festoons,
at others, falling in perpendicular masses, to the
length of eight or ten feet; forming a drapery,
infinitely surpassing, in beauty and splendour,
all the richest and most elaborate works of art.
In this simple, yet ingeniously constructed
aerial couch, the young hunter reposed his weary

limbs, whilst Nathleocee watched his disturbed
sleep, and amused her busy fancy ivith his
delirious mutterings, in a language she could
not comprehend; whilst she carefully, with a
fan made from the feathers of the pinnawaw, or
wild turkey, brushed away the intrusive mos-
quitoes, or the no less annoying sand flies.
After a few hours repose, Captain Graham
awoke refreshed, and turning his still half-closed
eyes, they rested upon a face of beauty, of so
peculiar a character, and in such perfect accord-
ance with his own romantic disposition, that his
very soul felt suddenly a thrill he had never
hitherto experienced. Beside him stood, in
blushing modesty, a perfect child of nature-
her dazzling black eyes flashing fire, under an
excitement entirely new to her unsophisticated
and primitive constitution--she felt abashed,
yet knew not why-whilst Gaaham drank deep
and largely at the first spring of love, and

dwelt with rapture upon the perfect symmetry
of her form, as she leaned against the huge
trunk of the oak under which he had slept.

Her raven hair, half wreathed, descended,
And o'er her face like shadows blended,
Half veiling charms of fairer hue,
Than ever forest daughter knew.
Such looks ne'er decked the fairest child;-
Ne'er bloomed such cheeks in forest wild."

Nathleocee possessed not only a face of love-
liness, but a form, which might vie in beauty of
proportion with the most exquisite productions

of the Roman or Grecian sculptor.
Her costume was such as would shock the
refined modesty of the more intellectual class df
white females, but nature knows no shame but
that of sin, and assuredly, if virtue consists in
purity of thought, sentiment, or action-this
artless girl was pure as the fountain which daily
reflected her unrivalled charms.


-r_~~_ -

The upper part of her form, according to the
custom of her tribe, was left uncovered-her
long black hair floated to the winds, unbraided,
over her finely proportioned shoulders-and as
the zephyrs caught the unconfined tresses, they
would play upon a bust, Venus herself might
have proudly owned. Her head was surmounted
by a tuft of feathers, plucked from the wings
of the snow-white Oartolo, or virgin crane;
interspersed with those of the gaudy crimson
flamingo-the whole confined by pearls of value,
collected among the islands at the southern
extremity of the peninsula of Florida
She wore a skirt of chassee, or fawn's skin, of
the softest texture, which was embroidered with
minute sea shells, interspersed with pearls of
rare beauty and extraordinary magnitude, and
further ornamented with strips of ermine skins,
and a variety of feathers of the richest hue.
This Hukkasykee, as it is denominated in the

'"--~-~-~-- I

Seminole language, extended from her waist
to a little below her knees.
Her beautifully formed legs were encased in
Uphetaikas, also made of chassee, ornamented at
the outsides by a double row of beads-a pair of
prettily worked Mocassins, or Indian shoes,
made to correspond with other portions of her
dress, completed the attire of the Chieftain's niece.
Nathleocee was the orphan daughter of a
neighboring King, who had been killed in
battle; from infancy she had been reared and
cherished by her uncle, with all the fond affection
which a noble-minded man feels for a lovely
object looking up to him for protection. She
was scarcely seventeen when Graham became
enamoured of her extraordinary sylvan charms.
With all the natural grace and dignity of one
born free as the bounding fawn of the wilderness,
she combined the retiring modesty, and feminine
timidity of a girl just blushing into womanhood


-there was, withal, anarch playfulness, which
caused the heart of many a young Seminole
warrior to bound with rapture, when her piercing
black eyes chanced to rest upon him.
Although she loved her Hadke-tustentiggee,"
or white warrior, as Captain Graham was called
throughout the Seminole nation, still she con-
ceived it a degradation to be allied to an Iste-
hadke, or white man; but at length yielded to
his continued importunities, and they were
married, according to the forms and ceremonies
of the Seminole Indians.
Three successive seasons produced as many
offspring to gladden the hearts of the affectionate
parents-then came a withering blight upon
their hopes of future happiness-the fond wife
was destined to be separated by the rude hand
of war, from her husband, and the father, from
his children.

Hostilities were about to commence, and
Graham was ordered by Oceola to quit the
Indian dominions, with a threat, that should he
again appear among them until the war with
the whites had terminated, he would assuredly
put him to death; it being customary on these
occasions, for an Indian to sacrifice his dearest
friend with his own hand, if found arrayed
against the tribe to which he belongs. But, as
a manifestation of his regard for his former friend
and companion, on taking an affectionate leave of
Graham, he pulled a white plume from his own
head dress, and placed it in the military helmet
of the young officer, telling him to wear it
whenever he came into battle with the Seminoles,
at the same time assuring him that he would
give orders throughout the nation, that this
insignia should be his protection!
The white warrior could not so easily control
his affections, and in spite of the mandate of



Oceola, he again ventured into the vicinity of
the wigwam which contained his wife and
children. It was not long before an opportunity
was afforded him of beholding her he loved.
Nathleocee was on her way to visit the bank of
a clear stream, beside which, under the shade of
a wide-spreading magnolia, whose perfumes
seemed like holy incense to their loves, the
young couple had first exchanged their vows
of pure affection.
No sooner had her keen eye discerned the
tall, manly figure of her husband, than she
prostrated herself upon the earth, hiding her
beauteous face within her hands, and the most
endearing entreaties could not extort from her
a single word or look.
The rigid rules of obedience to her guardian,
and honour to her tribe, forbade her to bestow
upon Graham the smallest sign of love or recog-
nition. Sooner would she have sacrificed her

children and herself, than have gratified, by a
single glance, the man who was sole lord of her
Finding Nathleocee inexorable to all his im-
passioned entreaties, Graham left her to join his
regiment; soon after which he was seen in the
hottest of the fight at the battle of Ouithla-
coochee, with the white plume waving in his
helmet-but amidst such a shower of rifle balls
and arrows, we are not surprised that he was
unintentionally wounded, although not severely.
Soon after this engagement he retired from the
army, disdaining to draw his sword against a
people he could not but love, and with whom he
strongly sympathized, for their manifold wrongs
and oppressions.
This unhappy princess, with her children,
was subsequently taken prisoner, and confined
in the fort of St. Augustine, while her husband
was on a visit to his friends in New York.




From St. Augustine, this desolate family was
removed, with other Indian captives, and trans-
ported to the far west,"-there, probably, to
perish, either by grief, change of climate, or






Hail, king! for so thou art."


Little more is known by white people of

Econchatti, the father of the young prince, than

that he was, previous to the war, King of the

ied-hills, in the Seminole country; he does not

appear ever to have much distinguished himself

as a warrior; as at this time, so important to the

interests of the Florida Indians, he gave up the

command of his braves to his youthful and


aspiring brother in law, Oceola; in this step
manifesting much discernment and good sense-
still it must be acknowledged, that with Indians,
so much discretion and prudence prevail in war,
that not much is known to their enemies of
their government, either civil or military, until
the Tomahawk is buried, and the Calumet of
peace has been reciprocally smoked by both
contending parties.
It seems, however, common enough among
them for the command to be assumed, during
war, by that chief who has had the greatest
opportunities of signalizing himself, and who,
in general, on the return of peace, retires to his
post; resuming, with the rest of the young men,
their habits of submission to the representatives
of the families of the hereditary sovereigns;
who, over the whole North American continent,
are held in the greatest respect.


We are informed, by a copy of the corres-
pondence between Horatio S. Dexter, Esq.,
agent for the Seminole Indians, and Captain
Bell, of the United States army, and acting
Governor of Florida, that as early as 1821,
immediately after the cession of the territory
from the Spanish government to the United
States of America, Econchatti was then a King
of a Seminole tribe; he is therefore always
called Econchatti-Mico-the word mico signi-
fying King or High chief. Vide Appendix.
At that time he resided with his sub-chiefs
and warriors on the banks of the Chattahoochee
river, where he possessed large private property,
in land, slaves, horses, and horned cattle. At
this place, it is presumed, the subject of the
present narrative was born, who is nephew to the
renowned Oceola-Econchatti having married
Oceola's sister.





The wealth of Econchatti-Mico was a sufficient
inducement for a party of neighboring white
ruffians to arm themselves, and without any
previous declaration of hostilities, to rush sud-
denly into his dominions, when after killing one
of his sub-chiefs, they forcibly took possession of
the whole of his property. This may be con-
sidered as a trifling provocation on the part of
the whites, but it is one only among thousands
of a similar kind, which they have practised
towards a people whom they stigmatize as


11 1.



A death-like sleep,
A gentle wafting to immortal life."

A faint gleam of recollection of his mother at
times flashes across the memory of this unso-
phisticated boy-he now brings to the vision of
his mind the scene of her dying-and her death.
The loss of the maternal parent is in every
grade of life more keenly felt in childhood's
years, than that of the father; yet how much
more poignant must have been the sorrow of
this Indian child, whose hardy and stern sire,
although possessing all the natural feelings of a
parent or a husband, deems it unworthy his
dignity to descend to the domestic cares of
either; but whose stalwart arm is ever ready to
defend her, the elect of his choice,-or his off-


spring--his only hope for future years-on
whom he depends to convey to succeeding
generations the fire and courage of his nature,
and, perchance, through the same channel, by
traditionary tales, to ages yet to come, the
achievements of his heroic daring.
Sad and lonely then must have been the posi-
tion of this young boy, whose mother breathed
her last sigh in the wigwam, with no other
attendant to administer to her dying wants than
this feeble nurse of probably five years old.
Cold was now that bosom on which he had
lately nestled for warmth and comfort!
Oceola says that the death of his mother took
place previous to the breaking out of the war;-
he has not a clear remembrance of her, and the
life he subsequently led was sufficient to replace
the memory of his infantile years with more
exciting events; he thinks his mother had been
confined at home for some time-she had been



bled in thle temple, but the wound did not heal-
his father came frequently, and sat with her,
with which she was pleased; but on the morn-
ing of the day on which she died, he did not see
his father as usual; probably he had gone away.
upon some military embassy, and as the other
women were not present, it is not unlikely the
families were already removed away into the
interior of the country, to be more secure from
the dangers of an impending war.
As soon as he observed his mother had ceased
to breathe, he became frightened, and ran to the
top of a hill; here he saw two Indians, who
came immediately with him, and occupied
themselves in examining carefully the extremi-
ties of a rope extended between two trees; they
then went into the house, and he rambled away
to a distance-on his return the men were gone,
and the body of his mother was removed-he

saw her no more. As he has no recollection of
her in health, it is to be presumed she had been
for some time an invalid.

The cord was doubtless designed to lash the
body, being part of their ceremony in burial,
which is thus performed. As soon as Indians
are convinced of the death of one of their people,
they place the arms close to the sides-the
hands are bent up to the shoulders, and the
knees are forced up to the chin.* In this position
the body, after having been dressed in its best
garments, is bound tightly round by a cord made
of twisted strips of cattle-hide; it is then buried,
if convenient, in some cavern, or it is carefully
deposited in a hollow tree, and with it are placed

*There is a body of a South American Indian in the
Museum of the College of Surgeons in London, discovered
in this posture in the sand-erroneously supposed to have
been buried alive by an earthquake.


all the ornaments, articles of war or dress belong-
ing to the deceased-the places of sepulture
are concealed, at times, with matchless skill.
The property of a deceased person is considered
too sacred for the use of survivors-all their
earthenware utensils, and other household pro-
perty are broken up and destroyed, so that the
ground in the vicinity of old Indian towns, is
literally strewed with fragments of pottery, &c.
How revolting then to their notions, must be
our disputes respecting the property of our dead
friends, or the instances which more frequently
come to their knowledge, of soldiers robbing
the bodies of their own comrades, as well as of
their enemies.
After a battle, the slain are collected in one
spot, and a large mound of earth is heaped over
them-some of these Indian mounds, as they
are called, are very large; there is one I observed




on the road from St. Augustine to Tomaka,
which must have covered two acres of grounds
Barrows of this kind are numerous over the
whole American continent; showing a similarity
of habits, in this respect, as well as in many
others, between the Indians and the aborigines
of Great Britain.

I El


"Sounded at once the bow, and swiftly flies
The feather'd death, and hisses through the skies."

Whilst upon the subject of Indian burials,

I will take this opportunity of relating the
ceremony, as more fully explained to me by the

amiable daughter of Mr. Dexter, whose name is
mentioned in the appendix-the young lady was

witness to the rite she very pleasingly described.

The unfortunate subject was a beautiful young

Princess of the Euchee tribe, who previous to

her marriage with a young sub-chief of the

Seminoles, was absolutely persecuted by the

addresses of a warrior of her own tribe-but


the impassioned Euchee was rejected, and in
the bitterness ofjealousy, he swore revenge.
Eleven moons of uninterrupted happiness had
glided rapidly away, and Allaha (the orange) had
become the mother of a boy-the idol of his
father, whom she loved with the devotion of
woman's first and only love, and they were
One evening as the fond mother was playing
with her infant, which was suspended in a Wyya
(a curiously constructed crib in which infants
are placed, specimens of which may be seen in
Catlin's exhibition) from a branch of a large oak
tree-beneath which her husband was listlessly
swinging in his grass hammock-an unknown
Indian, who had been lurking throughout the
day in a dense wood near by, was seen, just as
the last rays of twilight died away, to rise from
a mossy couch, and creep along in a half bent
posture to the edge of the thicket near the

Wigwam, and in an instant the fond mother fell
mortally wounded at the feet of her husband-
an arrow had pierced her side, and before many
minutes Allaha was a corpse.
The bold Yahchilanee, (war eagle) with a tear-
less eye, and a countenance expressive of the
most intense anguish, leaned over his dying
wife, uttering audibly at intervals "lepust,
lepust!"-the breath is going, the breath is
going! while an old crone of the tribe held
the infant boy over the dying mother, to re-
ceive her parting spirit ;-which is supposed to
linger for a time with the offspring, and im-
part instructions which are to exert an influ-
ence upon its future destiny.
When it became evident that life was extinct,
those around began to place the body in as com-
pact a manner as possible, in the mode already
described; it was then enveloped in a blanket
and placed in a sitting posture.-The fire in


and around the Wigwam was extinguished, and
all blankets, utensils, ornaments, &c. were col-
lected together-two Indians then passed a pole
through the upper part of the blanket contain-
ing the body, and marched off to a distance
followed by the husband and friends.
Having selected a place for encampment, fires
were again kindled-and now commenced the
ceremonies preliminary to burying the dead.
-A feast was held for three days-the body
placed in the open air handsomely attired,
and a large fire encircled it, which was kept
up until the expiration of the feast, when the
body was removed for burial. As no such ready-
made cemetery as a hollow tree was convenient,
the friends proceeded to construct a mausoleum
of young pine trees laid upon each other, form-
ing a hollow square-of sufficient height to
receive the body in a sitting posture- into
which the remains of Allaha were deposited;


together with all her cooking utensils, bed-
ding, beads, belts, and bracelets; besides a
supply of poultry and provisions-and finally
a little negress was decapitated and placed be-
side her mistress as an attendant across the
Big-Prairie, until she should arrive in the hunt-
ing grounds of the GREAT SPIRIT. A few
Indian girls, who had followed the train,
plucked wild flowers, and strewed them around
the corpse-fit emblems of her own fragile and
short-lived existence !-Lastly, the tomb was
covered with earth.
Now commenced the wailing and lamenta-
tion for the dead-tearing of hair, with every
gesticulation of the agony of extreme sorrow:
not so with the sad and silent mourner-the

No sigh nor moan escaped his quivering lips-
But the look of woe unutterable-
Extremity of earthly woe was there."

More than a year elapsed before the mur-
derer fell under the knife of Yahchilanee-who
never rested until satiated by the blood of the
destroyer of his wife.
The Indian widower unbinds his hair, allow-
ing it to float loose, and divests himself of every
ornament for the space of three moons; during
which time he appears sullen and gloomy, and
enters on the chase only when the imperious
demands of hunger impel him.
Of the private character of Econchatti-Mico,
or of his wife, 1 have had no means of obtaining
any intelligence beyond what little their child is
able to communicate;-he remembers his father
occasionally playing with, and caressing, him,-at
times taking him on his knee, or carrying him on
his back ; and at night, in their open-air encamp-
ments, covering him with the same bear-skin.
He can also recollect, that during the sickness
of his mother, his father came frequently and



sat with her; manifesting, as far as his young
memory serves, the ordinary feelings of a father
and a husband; which, I venture to state, are
quite as strong, if not more so, among those
denominated "savages," than among their de-
stroyers, or even the really civilized Europeans.
I can by no means arrive at any certainty
with respect to the death of Econchatti-Mico;
It has been said that he was killed in battle,
and again, that he died while a prisoner in the
Fort of St. Augustine.



"Thou hast, by tyranny, these many years,
Wasted our country, slain our citizens,
And sent our sons and husbands captive."

This event could not long have preceded the

second time when young Oceola was taken pri-

soner, as the Seminole war did not commence

until November, 1835, and he was again in the

hands of his enemies, in August the following

year; thus making it evident that this persecuted

child became twice a prisoner of war within the

space of a few months.

In relating this circumstance, he can only

recall to his memory that the Indians had halted

- _-_-- YtPI


in the Pine-forest for the night, and the follow-
ing morning the war-men were obliged to leave
their squaws and children to continue their
journey unprotected, to their place of destina-
tion; they travelled alone for two or three
days, when they were suddenly surrounded by
soldiers on horseback, and taken prisoners.
The frantic mothers, with their children, were
now driven, like a herd of cattle, to the nearest
encampment of the Whites, and there placed
upon baggage-waggons, to pursue their march
towards the civilized districts of East Florida.
They were several days travelling in this man-
ner, sleeping at night under the broad face of
Heaven, with a guard of soldiers placed over
On the road, Oceola saw many ruins of
houses, recently destroyed by fire:-the whole
district of country showed evidences of the
devastating effect of war.

Rations of flour were issued for the Indian
women and children, which they converted into
cakes by placing them upon the coals of their
fire. The young adventurer goes on to state
that, whilst crossing a wide shallow stream, over
which he was carried on the back of an Indian
woman who had had the charge of him since the
death of his mother, he observed a white man
on the opposite bank making frequent threat-
ening signs with a whip; menacing the women
with a view to quell a sudden loud and garru-
lous impulse, which seemed to have seized
them. They kept up constant noises and
splashings in the water as they crossed, for
the express purpose of being discovered by
their friends, which the whites were, of course,
anxious to prevent.
At length they arrived at the skirts of a vil
lage inhabited by white people, where they saw
more soldiers : the prisoners bivouaced in the


vicinity-the guard remaining at a short dis-
tance. During tile night, two Indian women,
a little girl, and Oceola, took advantage of an
unguarded moment, and effected their escape
under the mantle of darkness. They walked the
whole of that night, and continued on their
retreat for two or three days--resting occasion-
ally in the dense hammocks, and subsisting
during the time on water melons and Indian
corn. They at last arrived at a place where
they had encamped previous to their being cap-
tured;-here they had the good fortune to meet
the war-men-with whom, they spent the night
around a cheerful fire, regaling themselves plen-
tifully till they had satisfied their hunger.
We may picture to ourselves the wildness of
this scene-and who can do otherwise than
sympathize with these people on the raptures
of their reunion after their unexpected escape
from captivity ?-the result of which would,
G 2




otherwise, have been either death or expatriation
for many hundred miles, to a severe climate,
and destined probably never again to meet
those they held dear on earth.
It may be said, that human beings, in savage
life, cannot possess in so high a degree, the
enjoyments maintained by intellectual refine-
ment; but, 1 contend they are more highly
endued with the love of offspring than a great
portion of civilized society.
Although an Indian woman has been known
to stifle her child, that its cries might not
betray a body of her people to an unsparing
enemy, this apparently revolting and unna-
tural circumstance, does not detract from her
feeling as a mother;-it appears to me an act
of extraordinary heroism, evincing a power of
mind, unknown since the days of ancient
Sparta, or of Rome. Let me ask-would an
Indian mother allow the fountain of life to the


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