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THE FLORIDA j
VOLUME 30, NUMBER 4 DECEMBER 1977
Editor's Page ...................................... 143
Seminoles, Creeks, Delawares and Shawnees:
Indian Auxiliaries in the Second
by Melburn D. Thurman ........................ 144
Salvage Excavations at the Law School Mound,
Alachua County, Florida,
by Arlene Fradkin and Jerald T. Milanich ..... 166
A Model for Barrier Island Settlement Pattern,
by Alan E. McMichael ......................... 179
Hoodoo: The Indigenous Medicine and Psychiatry
of the Black American,
by Ralph R. Kuna ............................... 196
Ownership Statement and Circulation Report ......... 212
This issue concludes my first year as editor of
The Florida Anthropologist. After finding out just what
the job entails, my admiration for Ripley Bullen and the
other past editors has grown even larger. I am deeply
indebted to the members of the Editorial Board and to other
individuals who have consented to review manuscripts. This
review process has been very successful and will continue
in the future. I also thank Ms. Ann Cordell, a graduate
student in anthropology at the University of Florida, who
has served as editorial assistant and aided in handling
correspondence, editing, and mailing the journal. The
invaluable aid of Ms. Annette Fanus, departmental secretary
here at the Museum, has also made my job easier.
The Annual Meeting of the Florida Anthropological
Society will be held April 1, 1978, in Ft. Walton Beach.
More information will be forthcoming via the newsletter.
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the next issue is to be mailed. Treasurer Henriquez's
address is listed on the inside front cover.
Ms. Nancy L. Sharp of 3614 Dalen Place, Bakersfield,
California 93309, has written requesting that our subscribers
write to her with any jump-rope rhymes. She notes that this is
one form of folklore that is originated and transmitted by
children. She is also interested in information about the
rhymes, such as where they were first heard, how old they are,
etc., although this data is not essential.
Have a happy holiday season.
SEMINOLES, CREEKS, DELAWARES AND SHAWNEES:
INDIAN AUXILIARIES IN THE SECOND SEMINOLE WAR, 1836-8
Melburn D. Thurman
Although there have been a number of books and articles
on the service of Indian auxiliaries in the later Indian wars
on the Plains and in the Southwest, there has been little
published on the early employment of Indian auxiliaries; this
paper presents the first sketch of the role of these auxiliaries
in the Second Seminole War. Seminole scouts, the Creek Regiment
(first formed during the "Creek insurrection"), and companies
of Delawares and Shawnees served the American government in
various capacities during the early part of the war. It is
hoped that this paper will stimulate further research into the
role of the Seminole and Creek auxiliaries, a task that will
require a major archival project. For the Seminole and Creek
auxiliaries, I examined the bulk of published primary sources.
For the Shawnees and Delawares, whose role in the war has been
barely touched on in the literature, most of the published
and unpublished documents have been examined, although my
search of the Adjutant General's files is still incomplete.
The scarcity of information on Delaware and Shawnee
participation in the Second Seminole War is made manifest in
Weslager's history of the Delaware Indians, which provided
only a single paragraph on the Second Seminole War, and that
paragraph contained a number of errors and misleading state-
ments. Weslager (1972:378-9) wrote:
In the fall of 1838 [sic], the United States
decided to employ Indian soldiers as mercenaries
in the war against Seminoles in the Florida Everglades
[sic], which began in 1835.... About eighty Delaware
from Kansas, and an equal number of Shawnee...enlisted
and performed a six month tour in Florida. Because
of an ill-advised government policy, the Indians had
to wait more than ten years before they were able to
collect the back pay due them.
The author of the only other history of the Delawares,
Richard C. Adams, who was himself a Delaware lawyer involved
in pressing Delaware claims against the United States, based
his brief statement of Delaware service upon Sprague's (1848)
history of the war in Florida, which gave few references to
these Indians (Adams 1906:63). Adams also provided data which
suggested that in 1862, twenty-five years after enlistment,
the Delawares were still advancing claims for participation
in the war (Adams 1906:29). The only other history dealing
The Florida Anthropologist, vol. 30, no. 4, December 1977
with the Delawares and Shawnees in the Seminole War is Mahon's
(1967) excellent survey of the war, which briefly touched on
their service, primarily in the Okeechobee campaign.
The Second Seminole War had its origin in the governmental
policy of relocation of the eastern Indians to the trans-
Mississippi west. Under the treaty of Payne's Landing (May 9,
1832) the Seminoles agreed to leave Florida within three years
of treaty ratification, with a third of them moving every year
to the Creek country west of the Mississippi, where they
would be incorporated into the Creek polity (Kappler 1904:
344-5). It became obvious that the United States wanted the
Seminoles to relocate even more rapidly than the treaty called
for. The coming removal created dissention among the Seminole
leaders. Some of these headmen claimed that the treaty had
been fraudently made, so in April, 1835, the federal government
called a council, at which sixteen Seminole chiefs signed
(and five refused to sign) a statement acknowledging the
validity of the Payne's Landing Treaty. This action further
strained Seminole-American relations, and the American
authorities in Florida, sensing war, sought to increase their
military strength (Mahon 1967:75, 95-6).
War finally erupted in December, 1835, after a summer
and fall filled with incidents. The first battle of the war
came on December 18, when the Seminoles ambushed a militia
baggage train near Alachua Prairie. When communications
between Fort Brooke on Tampa Bay and Fort King, a hundred miles
to the northeast, were disrupted, a relief party under Major
Dade was dispatched. About halfway to Fort King, on December
28, near the edge of Wahoo Swamp, the relief party was ambushed
and all but three of over one hundred soldiers were killed
It was apparently the emergency engendered by the Dade
"massacre" which brought Indian auxiliaries into the Second
Seminole War. Immediately following this incident, an attack
on Fort Brooke was expected, and it appears that the commander
of the fort employed friendly Seminoles in the fort's defense.
In September, 1837, General Macomb, Commander-in-Chief of
the Army, reported to the Secretary of War (Congress 1837;
identical with American 1861:518-9) that:
About the commencement of Indian hostilities in
Florida, a band of 90 friendly Indians was received
into the service by Captain Belton, the commanding
officer [of Fort Brooke] at Tampa Bay, as seen by
his letter of 7th of January, 1836; but no rolls of
them have been received, and it is not known for
what period of time they were so engaged; it is
presumed not long, however.
This was probably the band of Holata Emathla, since on
February 20, 1847, the Senate Committee of Claims, recom-
mended the payment of the claim by "... Hola to Emathla and
other Seminole warriors for three months' service in the
army of the United States in the Florida war" (Congress 1847).
Holata Emathla was one of the six pro-removal chiefs with
about five hundred people who relocated their camps near Fort
Brooke sometime before the battle of Alachua Prairie in order
to avoid being embroiled in the coming conflict (Mahon 1967:
There is no indication that the Seminole auxiliaries
were present December 31, 1835 at Clinch's Battle of the
Withlacoochee (Mahon 1967:107-111), but there is no doubt that
they were present during the next fighting on the Withlacoochee.
General Gaines, a departmental commander with responsibility
in Florida, left Memphis to inspect his department on January
15, after hearing of Dade's defeat. Gaines reached Ft.
Brooke on Tampa Bay on February 9, with troops he had raised
on the way. There he learned of Scott's appointment to com-
mand in Florida, but this apparently did not modify his plans.
On the day before his arrival "... about one hundred of the
friendly Indians had been attached near the fort, and driven
in...." Gaines resolved to find these hostiles. On the 13th
with ten days rations, Gaines left Ft. Brooke with about 1,100
men, including seventy five "friendly Indians" who had ap-
parently been among the "about one hundred Indians" attacked
earlier at Ft. Brooke. Supplies were almost exhausted when
Gaines' men arrived at Fort King to find that the expected
supplies had not arrived and Gaines fell back toward Tampa
Bay. "Of the 77 friendly Indians who accompanied the brigade
from Fort Brooke, ten returned with it, the balance remaining
... [at Fort King]. These men, who acted as guides, promised
to find a ford [across the Withlacoochee] somewhere near the
point at which General Clinch had crossed." On February 27,
at the site of Clinch's battle, the Seminoles attacked. Next
day, Gaines moved his hungry army two miles down river and
was attacked again. Gaines built a stockade (Camp Izard) and
sat down to await help; he had no way of knowing that Winfield
Scott had reached the Florida theatre and, feeling that
Gaines' movement had upset his own carefully planned campaign,
had ordered Clinch not to aid Gaines. Finally, however, Clinch
relieved Gaines on March 8 (American 1861:300-306). The sixty-
seven Seminole auxilaries at Ft. King were probably not
brought up with General Clinch, as on April 12, 1836, General
Scott, referring to the difficulties with the friendly Indians
being shipped to the trans-Mississippi west, wrote (American
... I finally told them they must embark, and
Lieutenant Harris had just reported that the whole
(399 souls) are actually on board [the transport].
About a third of the number are warriors. A few
(two or three) are retained as guides, and a small
number were left at Fort King.
After this, nothing more is heard of Seminole auxilaries.
Although the Seminoles were the first Indian auxilaries
involved in the Second Seminole War, the Creeks were the most
important auxilaries, at least in terms of numbers. In 1836,
during the Creek "outbreak," 1,730 Creeks under 76 officers
had been raised as an auxilary force (Army 1838:263). It
was natural that the federal authorities should think of the
nearby Creeks, who already had military service, when looking
for auxilaries for Florida. One of the officers during the
Creek trouble was Paddy Carr, a half-breed Creek (McKenny 1872,
vol. 1:245-7), who became a major under Col. J.F. Lane. Lane
was a regular army captain who had been raised to the command
of the Creek Regiment which served in the Second Seminole War
in the years 1836 and 1837. On February 1, 1836, J.B. Hogan,
the Creek agent, wrote General Scott, then (with Gaines) one
of the two generals commanding in Florida, and pointed out
that the Creeks were not hostile to the Americans. Hogan
suggested that the Creeks be employed to fight the Seminoles
and said he could raise 1000 warriors in 10 days. However,
difficulties arose and the matter was dropped. Nevertheless,
a regiment of over seven hundred Creeks (variously reported
as 12 officers and 726 men and as an aggregate of 749), com-
posed of fifteen companies raised by Captain J.F. Lane (under
orders dated July 26, 1836), was finally mustered into the
army on September 1, 1836. The orders of July 25, 1836 noted
that the Creeks were to be "mounted, equipped, supplied and
paid as mounted volunteers" and that "six companies of mounted
men are required to act in concert with the Indian force."
As this reference to the six associated companies was always
later deleted in official "extracts" of orders, it seems certain
that this requirement was dropped. (Congress 1837, Macomb's
covering letter and documents 1-5; identical with American
1861:518-521; Army 1836:188; 1838:263).
It is possible that the Creeks unofficially entered the
war before being mustered into the American service against
the Seminoles in September, 1836. On June 13, 1836, near Fort
Mitchell, Alabama, assistant surgeon Motte noted that Paddy
Carr and a hundred warriors were on their way to Florida, but
it seems more likely that these were part of the "four or five
hundred Indian warriors" with Jesup on June 17 as he approached
the camp of the hostile Creeks under Enea Mathla (Army 1836:200).
Although mustered into the army on September 1, 1836, Motte
mentioned that the seven hundred Creeks were still at Fort
Mitchell on September 7 (Motte 1953:8, 31). On September 12,
Captain John Page, who was superintending the removal of
the Creeks to the trans-Mississippi west, noted that "all the
Creek Indians are now on their way to Arkansas except the
warriors who are volunteers for Florida" (Army 1836:205).
The Creek Regiment apparently moved overland to Apalachicola,
which it left on September 27. After a twenty-seven hour trip
on the steamer Merchant, the regiment landed at Tampa Bay on
September 30 (Army 1836:269).
The Creek Regiment was fairly heavily engaged even before
participating in the campaign of Governor Call (also a
brigadier general of the territorial militia) against the
Seminole "stronghold" at the Cove of the Withlacoochee. On
landing at Tampa on September 30, Col. Lane learned that a
nearby house had been burned the night before. He immediately
set out with a party of twelve mounted men, at least some of
whom were regulars, followed by a hundred Creeks on foot. About
twelve miles from Tampa, a party of hostile Indians, estimated
to be between one and two hundred, was found on the other side
of the Hillsborough River. Gunfire was exchanged until the
Creeks came up, when a charge was made across the river. Only
two soldiers were wounded. The hostiles ran and were pursued
by the mounted men until dark (Army 1836:269). Ten days later
(October 10), the Creeks set out to rendezvous with Call's
troops. On October 14, a little more than sixty miles from
Fort Brooke on Tampa Bay, hostile Indians were reported by
scouts. On proceeding, a small village and two large villages
containing about 150 lodges were found abandoned. The Creeks
found a number of hostiles and had a brisk running fight, in
which one Creek was wounded. The Creeks returned to the
villages after the fight and killed a hundred head of cattle
and a number of pigs. By that night they had driven about
four hundred more head of cattle back to camp. The Creeks
then moved on to Camp Izard, which they reached on October 16.
The next day they followed a large trail of the hostiles and
were soon joined by Governor Call's troops, returning to
Ft. Drane after an unsuccessful venture to the Withlacoochee.
The Governor, with more than 700 Creeks, now had a combined
force of 2000 or 2100 men with which to renew the campaign.
Governor Call and the Creek Regiment, however, had to do
without Col. Lane in continuing the campaign; on October 19,
upon reaching Ft. Drane, Col. Lane committed suicide, and
command of the Creek Regiment fell to Lt. Col. Harvey Brown
It was almost a month before Governor Call again approached
the Cove of the Withlacoochee in force, and the Creek Regiment
was a sizeable portion of his army. On November 13, the
troops arrived at the Withlacoochee, but all the villages in
the Cove had been abandoned. A captured Negro reported that
the Indians had fled southeastward along the river to the
Wahoo swamp. The army began pursuit and was divided into two
wings, the right wing under Call, composed of the Tennessee
Brigade, Florida militia and some regulars, spread out on the
south side of the river, while the left wing, containing the
Creeks and other troops under Col. Pierce, pursued along the
north side of the river. On the 17th, the right wing dis-
covered some hostiles, engaged them and killed at least
twenty, suffering losses of one killed and ten wounded. On
the 18th the right wing entered Wahoo swamp and found another
abandoned village, and soon after the troops discovered a large
body of Indians awaiting battle. Twenty-five Indian bodies
were found after the fight; Call had three men killed and
twelve wounded. On the 20th the two wings reunited on Dade's
battlefield, near the southeast edge of Wahoo swamp. The
next day Call formed a battle line to once more search the
swamp. The Seminoles were soon encountered, and a running fight
took place. While this fight was going on, Lt. Col. Brown at
the head of about one hundred and fifty Creeks found and
attached a body of Indians posted behind an ostensibly deep
stream. Call wrote:
A severe conflict here ensued, and while the
brave Major Morice [sic], one of the chiefs of the
Creek regiment, was advancing to head a charge
across the swamp, he fell and sunk into the water.
Our Indians continued to fight against the fearful
odds with which they were engaged, until they were
Although Major Morris was a battalion commander of the Creek
Regiment, the reference to Major "Morice" was undoubtedly
due to a typographic error and the leader of the charge who
was killed was really Major Moniac, described by Call only
as "a friendly chief," although he was a Creek graduate of
West Point. Two other Creeks were also killed in the battle,
as well as five regulars; fifteen soldiers were wounded. In
noting the good conduct of the troops at Wahoo swamp, Call
S I ought not to omit mentioning some of the
friendly Indians who have given signal instances
of bravery in battle. Amongst them, Paddy Carr,
Tustenuggy Hadjo, and John Hopony stand conspicuous.
Although Call had on two occasions forced the main body of
Seminole to fight, he was never able to decisively close with
them. Further, because of logistic problems, he was compelled
to withdraw after the fight in Wahoo swamp. This was looked
upon by his superiors as failure; Call was relieved of command
and General Jesup appointed in his place (Army 1836:372-6;
Mahon 1967:180-7; Sprague 1848:165).
Jesup took command in Florida in early December, but his
first move against the Seminoles began in the second half of
January, 1837. He wrote that ". . the main body of the army
was put in motion the 22d. . to attack the Indians and
negroes in the stronghold which they were said to occupy on
the headwaters of Ocklawaha" (Army 1837a:129). Jesup although
at the head of the main army, was not present when the detach-
ment of Marine Corps under Col. Henderson engaged the Indians.
By this time Lt. Col. Brown was no longer with the Creek
Regiment, but lack of documentation prohibits clarification of
the command scheme. The main difficulty, beside a lack of
given names in official reports, is the inconsistency in the
useage of military titles. An officer might be a First
Lieutenant in the regular army and also have the brevet rank
of Captain. This officer might for various reasons have a
temporary rank of Major or even be a Lieutenant Colonel in the
volunteer forces. At the death of the Creek Regiment's Col.
Lane (a captain in the regular army), W.W. Morris was listed
as "Major of the Creek Regiment," while William G. Freeman was
a captain in the Creek Regiment, and also, the regimental
adjutant (Army 1836:315). In Col. Henderson's report of his
January, 1837 action, Morris was at one point referred to as
"Capt. Morris" and at another place mentioned as "major of the
1st Indian battalion." General Jesup's report of the same
action implied that Morris commanded all the Indians when he
wrote of "Major Morris's Indian warriors," yet at another point
Jesup referred to a "Lieutenant Colonel Freeman, [who] with
a small force of pioneers and artillery. . [was] charged with
the defense of camp" (Army 1837a:129-30). This Lt. Col.
Freeman might be a different man than W.G. Freeman who was
second in command to Lt. Col. Brown at the time of Lane's
death, or it might be the same W.G. Freeman, indicating that
he was on detached duty from the Creek Regiment with a temporary
rank. Finally, when the Creek Regiment was discharged, Major
W.G. Freeman was mentioned as "senior officer of the Creek
regiment present," but thanks were given to "Major Morris, Major
Freeman, Captain Lee and Captain Boyd" in that order. (Army
1837b: 216). Ordinarily officers in such a list would be given
by seniority. Hence, this might mean that Morris was senior
to Freeman but not present. The two most likely possibilities
are that: 1) at the time of the Jesup-Henderson sortie,
Freeman was detached to temporary duty, leaving Morris in
command of the Creek Regiment, but sometime after the sortie
Freeman resumed command; 2) by the time of the Jesup-Henderson
sortie, Morris was recognized as senior to Freeman, but for
some reason Morris was absent when the Creek Regiment was
discharged. The first alternative is far more likely as army
seniority is determined by the date of commission and at
Lane's death Freeman was listed as a major in a document which
also listed Morris as a captain.
Whatever the command situation in the Creek Regiment, the
Creeks aquited themselves well during the Jesup-Henderson
sortie in January, 1837. After the troops set out on January
22 for the headwaters of the Ocklawaha, a report was obtained
that the main body of hostiles had moved from the Ocklawaha and
were heading for the head of the Caloosahatchee. On January
27, after separating from the main army, Col. Henderson's command,
including Creeks under Major Morris, found some of the Seminoles
on the edge of Big Cypress Swamp, on the Hatcheelustee, a
northern tributary of the Kissimmee. When the troops came to
a forked trail, a small detail was sent in one direction, while
the main body went in the other direction. Soon a message
requesting assistance reached the main body. When the main
force came up with the detachment, they found that most of the
hostile Indians had escaped into the Big Cypress Swamp, but the
detachment had over a hundred captured horses, the body of a
dead Negro, and two Indian women and three Indian children
prisoners. Major Morris and the Creeks followed the Seminoles.
the Seminoles formed a firing line behind a deep creek a few
hundred yards into the swamp. The stream was forced after the
main body came up and the Indians retreated through pineland,
before returning to the swamp. The Creeks were ordered to
try to take the Seminoles on either flank, while the regular
and volunteers formed the center of the advance. A half mile
further into the swamp, the Seminoles fired on the troops and
again disappeared. This was a sequence which was repeated,
but after this exchange of fire the troops were recalled and
Col. Henderson marched back to the main army. Col. Henderson
The results of this day's operation was the
capture of two Indian women and three children,
and twenty-three negroes, young and old over a
hundred ponies, with packs on about fifty of
them. All their clothing, blankets, and other
baggage, were abandoned by the enemy, and either
taken or destroyed by us.
Col. Henderson praised the regulars, the volunteers and "a
portion of the friendly Indians, that came under my eye, [who]
also conducted themselves with great bravery" (Army 1837a:129-
It is not absolutely clear how General Jesup deployed
the Creek Regiment after his brief January sortie, but it
appears that he divided it among a number of posts. Mahon
(1967:195-6) showed that within a month after Jesup's assump-
tion of command Jesup's force was reduced, through the expira-
tion of enlistments, to only about 1800 troops, meaning that
40 percent or more of his army was made up of Creeks. In this
manpower squeeze Jesup was forced to garrison a number of posts
with sailors. But it is possible that some of these "sailors"
were Creeks, as, at Fort Mellon, some of the units under Naval
officers were composed of Creeks. In February, a portion of
the Creek Regiment was included in the detachment which began
building Fort Mellon on Lake Monroe. (It seems likely that
these Creeks had been part of Col. Henderson's force on the
Hatcheelustee in January, but this cannot be established, as
Jesup (Army 1837a:129) mentioned only "Tustenuggee Hajo" among
Creek leaders at the Hatcheelustee Battle, and other sources
mentioned only Paddy Carr as the Creek leader at Ft. Mellon.)
Motte, quoting from Lt. Col. Fanning's report, stated that "Lt.
Piercy of the Navy, Captain of the friendly Indians, with his
Indian force, fought among the regular troops" during the
attack on the newly begun Ft. Mellon, which occurred shortly
after the arrival of the detachment on February 8. Paddy Carr,
who was present at Fort Mellon during the February attack, was
still there in June when Motte arrived (Army 1837a:132; Motte
1953:100-2). In his report of the fight at Ft. Mellon, Col.
Fanning mentioned, that Paddy Carr ". . has generally headed
the scouting parties, and has performed those laborious and
dangerous duties with great promptitude and cheerfulness" (Army
1837a:132). This was probably the major task of the Creeks
during the war and provides a reason for their dispersal.
Motte's entries, in conjunction with data from other forts,
suggest this dispersal of the Creek Regiment among various
posts, as on May 22, 1837, (when some Creeks were no doubt
still at Fort Mellon), one hundred and twenty Creeks were
camped near Fort Dade (Army 1837a:378).
Jesup, recognizing that he could not force Seminole
submission without greatly augmented forces and that the loss
of Negroes was one of the principle factors in Seminole
resistance to emigration, promulgated a new policy on March 6,
1837. On this date some of the most important Seminole chiefs
signed a "Capitulation of the Seminole nation of Indians and
their allies," in which they agreed to end hostilities and move
west, while the Americans agreed to guarantee Seminole owner-
ship of their slaves and the right of their (Negro) "allies"
to migrate. Many Seminoles surrendered and went to the
relocation camp near Fort Brooke on Tampa Bay. Rumors began
to circulate that the hostiles intended to raid the relocation
camp, so Creek spies were sent to the camp. On June 2, 1837,
Osceola and others cleared the camp, which contained as many
as seven hundred Seminoles. Jesup blamed many people, including
the Creek spies, for the escape (Mahon 1967:200-5).
Jesup was displeased with the Creeks, charging that they
were "inefficient" and was against re-recruiting them (Army
1837a:393; Mahon 1967:209), and the Creeks, although with
perhaps some mixed feelings, were also anxious to leave the
service. It is true that the Creeks profited from the war.
A letter of June 1, 1837 from St. Augustine (Army 1837a:379)
Paddy Carr, alias Major Paddy Carr, also his
sergeant, Wm. Burnett, are here. They brought in
about 150 head of cattle and mules for sale, which
they captured from the Seminoles.
Nevertheless, the Creeks had their own problems to deal with.
In a letter of March 7, 1837, to the Secretary of War, written
one day after the "Capitulation," General Jesup (Congress 1837,
document 6; identical with American 1861:522) wrote:
When the Indian regiment was raised in the Creek
country, for service in Florida, it was distinctly
understood by them, as well as by me, that they were
to be allowed to return to Alabama in time to remove
to the country assigned to them, west of the
Mississippi, before the season for planting their
corn. I have found it necessary to retain them in
the service up to this time, and it is important
that they remain until the Seminoles remove. Had
they left me on the 1st of February according to the
assurances given to them, I must have called into
service at least two regiments of militia or
volunteers to have taken their places at heavy
expense. . To induce them to remain, I assured
them that if they should be detained beyond the
planting season the United States would not only
subsist them for twelve months after their arrival
west, but in addition to that period, until the time
of gathering their crops next year. . .
Whatever the reasons the Creeks were not re-enrolled,
General Jesup, faced with the expiration of Creek enlistments
at the end of August, requested a thousand "northern Indians"
as replacements, to be available for campaigning by the
middle of October, 1837. On July 25, 1837, the Secretary of
War took measures to recruit 200 Delawares, 400 Shawnees, 100
Sacs and Foxes, 100 Kickapoos, and 200 Choctaws. Captains
Gordon and Bean were sent to Agent Cummins at Fort Leavenworth
to aid in the recruitment of the Shawnees, Delawares, and
Kickapoos. Lt. Poole was sent to assist Agent Street in
enlisting the Sacs and Foxes, and Captain Bonneville was sent
to Agent Armstrong to help recruit the Choctaws. The Delawares,
Shawnees, Kickapoos, and Sacs and Foxes were to be outfitted
at St. Louis, while the Choctaws were to organize at Fort
Gibson and be outfitted at Baton Rouge Arsenal (Congress 1837,
documents 8-17; identical with American 1861:522-5).
The terms under which the Indians were recruited led to
protracted claims against the government. The agents were
. . represent to them that they will be divided
into bands of fifty each, including the individual
who may have the command of each band, and who will
be selected by those composing the bands out of their
own number. The compensation of these Indians for
six-months' service will be as follows: To the Chief
of each band, four hundred and seventeen dollars, and
to all others, each, two hundred and seventy dollars.
Besides this pay, they will be subsisted at the expense
of the government; and it may be proper to assure them
that every effort will be made to give them, should
they desire it, the same kind of ration which they now
receive; and that, should any of the Indians thus
engaged die or be killed while in the service of the
government, the amount of pay which may be due them
for the six months' service will be given to their
These Indians will be armed with their own rifles
and implements, so far as they possess them, and those
who may not have them of their own will be furnished
by the United States, the cost of which to be deducted
from their pay. Each band will select its own inter-
preter, who will be enrolled, and will compose one of
the fifty. The compensation of each interpreter, for
the six months' service, will be three hundred and
fifth dollars (Congress 1837, document 8; identical
with American 1861:522).
The quartermasters involved were instructed to provide
for the expenses
. incurred by the agent in assembling the Indian
at some proper point, the cost of their subsistence
while there until they shall have been regularly
enrolled and organized into companies and received into
the service of the United States, and of such clothing
as they may be in immediate want of. Payments for
these objects will be made upon accounts certified
by the agent whose duty it is to collect the Indians
together (Congress 1837, document 11; identical with
Enlistment of the Indians proved to be a difficult task.
A St. Louis paper, noting the Sacs and Foxes were engaged in
a war with the Sioux, predicted the futility of trying to
recruit Sacs and Foxes (Army 1837b:188). The prediction was
correct. At the council with the Sacs and Foxes, a chief
stated that if the Great White Father could send them a hundred
troops with which to fight the Sioux, the Sacs and Foxes would,
on the conclusion of the war, go to Florida to fight. If,
however, no troops were forthcoming, the Sacs and Foxes could
not help the Great Father in Washington (Niles 1837-8:65).
Five hundred of the Choctaws, according to the Army and Navy
Chronicle, agreed to go to Florida, but on rendevouzing at
Fort Gibson they were informed that they would not receive as
much money as they had been promised:
When they learned that there was a mistake in the
wages offered, they disbanded in great haste, tore
off their war ornaments, and washed the paint from
their faces (Army 1837b:412).
It is not certain why the Kickapoos did not enlist. Although
the Fort Leavenworth Agency files for 1837 and 1838 contain
letters concerning the Shawnees in Florida, they provide no
information on the attempted recruitment of Kickapoos. One
can, however, make inferences as to what happened. Part of
the Kickapoos were under the influence of Kannekuk, the
prophet, who preached an anti-war doctrine. Other Kickapoos
had little love for the Americans; some Kickapoos were accused
of staging a war dance on hearing of the "massacre" of
American soldiers, apparently those of Dade by "Creeks" in
"Florida" (Fort Leavenworth 1836). Tribal warfare, disputes
about pay, and dislike for the Americans reduced the ranks of
potential mercenaries, leaving only the Delawares and Shawnees.
Of the thousand "northern Indians" sought by General
Jesup, only 178 Delawares and Shawnees were ever mustered into
the American service. There were two companies of Delawares,
one of the thirty-seven men under Captain Moses, and a second
under Captain Swannick of fifty men. There were also two
companies of Shawnees, one company of forty-six men under
Captain William Parks, and a second company of forty-five
under Captain Joseph Parks (Congress 1844:13; Pratt 1851, who
provided the names of all the Delaware auxilaries and part
of the Shawnees).
There was much dissatisfaction with Indian recruitment
among Americans as well as among the Indians the government
sought to enlist. Recruitment of Indians was originally
undertaken because it was felt that they could better under-
stand the Florida climate than could American troops. Yet,
noted a St. Louis paper, the Delawares and Shawnee .
by their present habits and pursuits [are] totally unfit for
a southern campaign." Further, the same paper argued, the
raising of the Delawares and Shawnees might have disastrous
The policy . [of using Indian auxilaries]
appears to us to be highly reprehensible; it has
been the professed object of the Government to
produce harmony between the tribes residing along
the western frontier. The necessity of this measure
has been long conceded, and large sums of money have
been expended in the attempt to affect it. How well
the present proposition accords with those professions,
every man can judge! The avowed object of the
Government towards the Seminoles is, that they shall
emigrate west of the Mississippi to the lands assigned
them; these lands are, considering the roving habits
of the Indians, but a short distance from the lands
of the Shawnees, Kickapoos, and Delawares. If
portions of these tribes are carried south, and engaged
in the United States service, it will engender a
lasting feud between them and the Seminoles, which
will extend to all the tribes with which they are
connected; and, in after times, the power of the
United States troops will have to be employed in
preventing mutual depredations. In its moral
effect upon the Indians it is highly censurable, and,
we venture to predict, will contribute much to stop
that culture and improvement which the philanthropist
has so long desired; nor will its influence be confined
to those employed, but it will be extended to the
neighboring tribes. It will doubtless be seized upon
by hostile parties as a favorable moment to execute
delayed revenge on the defenceless portions; and,
with all, it will be calculated to lessen their dread
of the power of the Government (Army 1837b:142).
The Army and Navy Chronicle (Army 1837b:253), reflecting
the attitudes of the regular military establishment, sniffed
that the Indians were overpaid, "The Indians. .. are to be
paid $45 per month, while the regular pay to citizen volunteers
is but $8 per month."
Although the Choctaws discovered soon after assembling
that they would not receive as much pay as originally promised,
the Delawares and Shawnees were well on their way to Florida,
probably in Florida, when they first learned of this. After
leaving Fort Leavenworth, the Delawares and Shawnees outfitted
in St. Louis. On October 3 they boarded the steamboat
Wilmington for New Orleans (Army 1837b:253,281). Soon after
their departure, a message arrived in St. Louis from the
Secretary of War, dated, October 2, 1837, stating that the
offer of $45 a month to each enlisted Indian was made in error
and that the correct salary figure, was $417 for the chief of
each band for six months, but only $72.22 for each enlisted man
for six months (Congress 1844:7). According to a newspaper
account, the message reached the Delawares and Shawnees in
New Orleans; they were said to be enraged and it was rumored
that they were leaving New Orleans for home (Niles 1837-8:
161; Army 1837b:253,281,285). General Jesup, however, stated
that they knew nothing of the matter until they reached Tampa
Shortly after the arrival of the Delawares and Shawnees
in Florida, Jesup began to implement a two-fold policy of deceit
and military action to replace the policy he had put forward
in the "Capitulation," a policy that had crumbled with the
escape of the Indians at the relocation camp on Tampa Bay. The
policy of deceit was the "systematic" disregard for flags of
truce, by which means a number of Seminole leaders were seized
at parleys. One of the first Indian leaders to be bagged, in
late October 1837, was Osceola, who had been involved in the
breaking up of the Tampa Bay relocation camp. The military plan
devised by Jesup (and which was put into operation in mid-
December) involved the co-ordination of over 4000 troops com-
posing seven detachments. The main body of troops was organized
into four detachments which were to converge on the headwaters
of the St. John's River. Three detachments in south Florida
were positioned to intercept those Indians flushed by the main
body. The largest of the south Florida detachments was under
Col. Zachary Taylor (Mahon 1967:214-220).
Before being assigned to an army command, the question
of the terms of enlistment for the Delawares and Shawnees came
up, but it is not known how the problem was resolved. The only
information relative to this matter is General Jesup's letter
to Secretary of War Poinsett in response to a letter which was
probably dispatched from Washington before it was known
there if the letter clarifying enlistments (first sent to St.
Louis and then forwarded to New Orleans) had caught up with
the Delawares and Shawnees. Jesup (Congress 1844:11-12) wrote:
Headquarters, Army of the South
Picolata, November 10, 1837
Sir: An error in regard to the compensation to
be allowed to the Shawnee and Delaware warriors has
been reported to me; and I have also been furnished
with a copy of an order for their discharge, unless
they consent to receive the sum authorized by law.
One hundred and seventy seven of them had arrived at
Tampa Bay before the order for their discharge had
been received by the officer who conducted them
thither, and I ordered a portion of them to join me
on the St. John's.
To discharge them now, or to pursue any course
towards them which would dissatisfy them, might, and
no doubt would, have a most injurous effect on our
relations with the Seminoles. The moral effect produced
upon the Seminoles by their arrival, will be most
advantageous; and if they were to be removed, particularly
under circumstances which would be likely to give
dissatisfaction to them, it might cost us another
campaign. I enclose a copy of a letter addressed
to Lieutenant Colonel Davenport on the subject of
the Indians. Part of them will probably have
marched to the interior before that letter is
received at Tampa; and to order them to return,
might cause the Seminoles, who are now inclined to
surrender, to hold out with the Mickasukies.
Until I have your instructions on the subject, I
consider it to be my duty to retain them.
I have the honor to be, most respectfully, sir your
Th. S. Jesup
Major General commanding.
Hon. J.R. Poinsett
Secretary of War, Washington City.
The letter (enclosed in the above letter) to Lt. Col.
William Davenport, at Tampa Bay, while stating that the pay
could not be increased to the rate originally promised was
Jesup's bid to "sweeten" enlistment terms for the Delaware
and Shawnee. Jesup offered them the right to sell (or keep
for themselves) all horses they captured, agreed to buy all
their captured cattle, and posted a fifty dollar bounty for
every Negro they captured. It was further stated by Jesup
that if these Indians ". . serve well, I will take their
chiefs to Washington, and represent their case to our great
council, (Congress) and I have no doubt of obtaining from them
all that has been promised."
After coming to terms on their enlistments, the Delawares
and Shawnees were assigned to Col. Taylor's command, but less
(probably much less) than half of them took part in the Battle
of Lake Okeechobee. This battle was the culmination of Jesup's
campaign, the biggest battle of the war, and the victory which
marked the beginning of the rise of Zachary Taylor (a rise
to command in Florida, to a much greater command in the
Mexican War, and finally to the White House). Taylor took
his station on the Kissimmee, built Ft. Gardner, and awaited
the outcome of the peace mediation undertaken by the Cherokees
in November. On December 20, 1837, Taylor, the day after
being informed by Jesup that negotiations had failed, moved
his troops in the general direction of the hostiles, south-
eastward down the west side of the Kissimmee. Taylor's
force consisted of 1,032 enlisted men, including seventy
Delawares, and an unspecified number of officers. The few
Shawnees at Ft. Gardner refused to set out on the campaign
with Taylor. The "greater part" of the Shawnees had been
previously detached, some apparently, as indicated by Jesup's
letter of November 10, to Jesup's column, and some, as Taylor
noted, as an escort for the Seminole leader Jumper, who had
agreed to surrender. In his official report. Taylor wrote:
Late in the evening of the first day's march,
I met the Indian chief Jumper, with his family,
and a part of his band, consisting of fifteen men,
a part of them with families, and a few negroes--
in all, sixty-three souls--on his way to give himself
up, in conformity to a previous arrangement I had
entered into with him. They were conducted by Captain
Parks, and a few Shawnees. He (Parks) is an active
and intelligent half breed, who is at the head of the
friendly Indians, both Shawnees and Delawares, and who
I had employed to arrange and bring in Jumper, and as
many of his people as he could prevail to come in.
We encampted that night near the same spot; and the
next morning, having ordered Captain Parks to join
me, and take command of the Delawares, and having
dispatched Jumper in charge of some Shawnees to
this place [Fort Gardner], and so on to Fort Frazer,
I continued my march . . (Army 1838:81; same as
Niles 1837-8:380; same as Congress 1837; same as
After marching about fifty miles, Taylor, hearing that a
number of hostile warriors with Alligator and Sam Jones were
perhaps twenty-five miles away, and desiring to secure the
heavy baggage which would be an impediment should he fight
a battle, built a stockade (Ft. Bassinger). A number of
troops were left at Ft. Bassinger, including ". . a large
portion of the Delaware Indians, who declined going [on],
alleging that their feet and legs were so badly cut by the
saw palmetto, that they could not march further .
(Army 1838:76; same as Niles 1837-8:337).
The stage was set for the battle, all that was lacking
was knowledge of the Seminoles' location. The day after
leaving Fort Bassinger, just after passing through Alligator's
abandoned camp, Captain Parks "fell in with two of the enemy's
spies" and captured one, who informed him that a large body
of Indians was only five or six miles away. On reaching the
reported location, Taylor found another abandoned camp. After
leaving this camp, a young warrior was captured in the prairie
who pointed to a hammock only a mile distant and informed
Taylor that the Indians were awaiting battle there. It was
Christmas Day, 1837, but Taylor made his dispositions for
Taylor's force moved in two lines against the Indians,
who were in a hammock which was surrounded by a swamp three-
quarters of a mile wide and having a thick growth of five
feet high saw grass. The swamp was barely passable for a man
on foot and impassable for horses. The front rank of Taylor's
battle line was composed of Gentry's Missouri volunteers, the
company of spies, and probably the Indian auxilaries, totalling
less than 300 men. Taylor ordered the front rank to fall
back behind the regulars of the second line if they were hard
pressed by the Seminoles. On reaching the edge of the hammock,
these non-regulars came under heavy fire, Colonel Gentry was
killed, the troops broke, did not reform, and could not be
rallied (America 1861:989 and previously cited identical texts).
Although Taylor did not mention the Indian auxilaries as being
in the front rank, this is implied in a report carried in the
Army and Navy Chronicle (Army 1838:108-9):
. it is reported on good authority, that the
Missouri volunteers basely and ingloriously fled
from the field, leaving their Colonel (Gentry)
to perish in the conflict. The friendly Indians
followed the example of the volunteers, and were
of little service during the action. Not so with
the Regulars . .
The regulars pushed the Indians out of the hammock, and later,
joined by some of the volunteers, pursued the Indians until
about night fall, when the Seminoles dispersed. Twenty-six
soldiers were killed and one hundred and twelve were wounded.
There were no casualties among the Indian auxilaries. Ten
Seminole bodies were found, but it was believed by Taylor
that many of the bodies had been carried away. Later, ac-
cording to one of Taylor's officers, it was learned that the
Seminoles lost twenty men during the Battle of Lake Okeechobee
The battle by most standards had been a victory for Col.
Taylor, who retraced his steps past Ft. Bassinger to a brief
retirement at Fort Gardner before taking to the field again.
The day after the battle Taylor's men rested, but the next
day they left for Ft. Bassinger, which they reached on December
28. The fort there was almost finished and Taylor left
". . two companies and a few Indians to garrison the stock-
ade." Taylor's troops moved on to Ft. Gardner, which they
reached on December 31. Here he made "preparations for taking
the field again as soon as my horses can be recruited. .
and my supplies [are] in a sufficient state . to justify
the measure." By the time Gen. Taylor wrote his report of
January 4, 1838 (American 1861:986-989), he could claim of
his six-weeks campaigning:
The results of which movement and battle have been
the capture of thirty of the hostiles; the coming
in and surrendering of more than 150 Indians and
negroes, mostly the former, including the chiefs
Ou-la-too-che, Tust-ta-nug-gee, and other principal
men; the capturing and driving out of the country
600 head of cattle, upwards of 100 heads of horses;
besides obtaining a thorough knowledge of the country
through which we operated, a greater portion of which
was entirely unknown, except to the enemy.
Col. Taylor's command, including some of the Delawares,
set out in January to effect a junction with Jesup's command
which had been moving down the St. John's, but such a junction
seems not to have been made. Assistant surgeon Motte, who
was near Camp Lloyd (or Floyd), noted that on the night
January 20-1, 1838, ". . thirty five Delaware Indians . .
who had been sent to overtake us from Col. Taylor's division
S. came up with us while we were encamped" (Motte 1953:188).
While Jesup's column searched for Taylor's command, they
stumbled into a party of hostiles and fought the Battle of
Lockahatchee on January 24. Because of supply difficulties
Jesup stepped back near the coast and built Fort Jupiter,
completed on January 28, near Jupiter Inlet. On February 1,
an express arrived at Ft. Jupiter notifying Jesup that Taylor's
troops were only about twenty miles away (Motte 1953:201).
Nevertheless, Taylor, upon learning that his Indian auxilaries
had been attacked by Seminoles, moved away again and Jesup
sent 120 men to reinforce Taylor (Army 1838:160).
The nearness of the various units involved in Jesup's
campaign led to a scattering of the hostiles at the end of
January, and frequent counting parties of Delawares were sent
out to monitor this activity. In early February, Jesup's
camp was enlivened by a scalp dance. On one of the scouting
parties a Delaware tracked down a Seminole who tried to hide
in a large cypress tree. Upon the Delaware's approach, the
Seminole jumped up, causing the Delaware's horse to shy and
throw him. The Delaware jumped to his feet, but the Seminole
fired first and shot the Delaware through the left hand and
wrist. The Delaware's bullet killed the Seminole, who lost
his scalp (Motte 1953:202; Army 1838:160).
It is not clear what happened to the Delawares and Shawnees
during the remaining two months of their enlistment, but they
were home in Kansas by early April. A New Orleans paper noted
that they had arrived there aboard the U.S. steamer American on
March 30 (Army 1838:251). In April, 1838, the St. Louis
Bulletin (quoted by Army 1838:285) stated:
The Shawnee and Delaware Indians who were
engaged by the Government to assist in quelling
our Florida troubles, have returned from the wars,
and many of them are now in the city. They give
most glowing accounts of their exploits, and the
battles they have fought. Nearly all of them have
scalps, which they very boastingly display, and if
we could believe what they say, they must have
nearly put an end to the poor Seminoles. Colonel
Taylor only mentions ten as being killed, but be this
as it may, these Indians have, to almost every man,
a scalp. Whither they ran or fought, they are
determined to be considered great braves upon their
return home, and every man is to be dubbed a hero.
The war in Florida, after experimentation with a number
of policies, eventually ground to a halt, but Indian auxilaries,
of whom so much had been expected early in the war, were never
again employed. Gen. Taylor, who became a brigadier general
as a result of the Battle of Lake Okeechobee and who held the
Florida command from May, 1838,to April, 1840, divided north
Florida into a series of twenty mile squares, with a post of
twenty soldiers in the center of each square. Gen. Armistead,
who followed Taylor, finally resorted to bribery to secure
Seminole removal. Col. Worth, who succeeded Armistead in May,
1841, after securing Seminole agreement to a south Florida
reservation, ended the war by declaring it over in August,
1842, even though some depredations continued (Mahon 1967:245-
The Delaware and Shawnee claims against the United States
government ground on much longer than the war. Apparently
the Delawares and Shawnees pressed their claims with some
success soon after returning home. On September 15, 1839, in
forwarding the Delaware and Shawnee payrolls to the Paymaster
General in Washington, the army paymaster at St. Louis made
reference to the "additional appropriations" which had been
included in the calculation. According to this statement,
for their service between 29 September, 1837 and 2 March, 1838,
Captain Moses' company of 37 Delawares received a total of
$4,350.19, while Captain Swannick's company of 50 Delawares
received $5,696.96. The two Shawnee companies, Captain Will Park's
46 men and Captain Joseph Park's 45 men, received, respectively,
$5,094.68 and $5,055.61. According to the St. Louis
paymaster, who did not mention a differential for the company
commanders or the interpreters, this works out to "additional
pay [of] $46.38 each for six months . averaging [a total
pay] per month of $19.60 [per man], with additional pay included."
The pay per month to enlisted men, exclusive of company com-
mander and interpreter, was given as averaging $11.87 per month
in the Secretary of War's letter of October 2, 1837, which
contrasts to the $8.00 per month given to a private of volunteers
Although additional pay had been granted to the Delawares
and Shawnees by September 15, 1839, they were still not
satisfied. In 1844, the Shawnees had a great weight of
tribal debts bearing down on them and they pointed out to the
Commissioner of Indian Affairs that they had not received as
much as they had originally been promised for serving in
Florida and, further, the money they had received went to pay
their traders. As far as can be ascertained, the only answer
the Shawnees received to this communication was that, although
they had not received as much as they had originally been
promised, they had received more than the money promised them
in the revised salary offer of October 2, 1837 (Congress 1844:
6, 13). Nevertheless, there is a document, dated May, 1851,
and filed under 1851 among the Pratt papers in Topeka, Kansas,
giving the names of 41 Shawnees who obtained bounty lands as
a result of service rendered in the Florida War, leaving little
doubt that the Shawnees eventually received additional renumera-
tion for their Florida service. It is not known, however, if
the Shawnees looked upon this as settling their Florida War
This "1851" list, which also gives a muster roll of the
two Delaware companies, documents Adams' statement that the
Delawares were still pressing their Florida War claims in 1862.
Next to the name of each Delaware auxilary on the muster roll
there is a letter "d" placed beside those who were deceased.
To the right of each deceased Delaware there is the name(s)
of his heir(s). One of the deceased Delawares was James Conner,
a man who signed a treaty as late as July 4, 1866 (Kappler
1904:942). The latest additions to the "1851" document must
therefore date at least to 1866. The Pratt papers show that
bounty land warrants (authorized by a March 3, 1855 act of
Congress) had been obtained by some of the Delawares as early
as 1857, but some heirs of Delaware auxiliaries were still
seeking their warrants as late as 1865.
Adams, Richard C.
1906 History of the Delaware Indians. 59 Congress,
1 Session, U.S. Senate, Document 501.
1861 American State Papers. Military Affairs,
Vol. 7, Washington, D.C.: Gales and Seaton.
1836 Army and Navy Chronicle, July 1-December 31, 1836,
Vol. 3 (N.S.). Washington, D.C.
1837a Army and Navy Chronicle, January 1-June 30, 1837,
Vol. 4 (N.S.). Washington, D.C.
1837b Army and Navy Chronicle, July 1-December 31, 1837,
Vol. 5 (N.S.). Washington, D.C.
1838 Army and Navy Chronicle, January 1-June 30, 1838,
Vol. 6, (N.S.). Washington, D.C.
1837 Indians in Military Service, 25 Congress, 1 Session,
U.S. House of Representatives, Document 27.
1844 Balance Due Shawnee Indians, 28 Congress, 1 Session,
U.S. House of Representatives, Report 541.
1847 Petition of Hola to Emathla, 29 Congress, 2 Session,
U.S. Senate, Document 166.
1836 "Proceedings of Council held on the 13th June
with the Kickapoos by Capt. Duncan & Rbt. Cummins,
Ind. Agt." Enclosed in William Clark to Elbert
Herring, July 8, 1836. Letters Received, Ft.
Leavenworth Agency, Office of Indian Affairs,
U.S. National Archives.
Kappler, Charles J.
1904 Indian Affairs. Laws and Treaties, Vol. 2,
58 Congress, 2 Session, U.S. Senate, Document 319.
Mahon, John K.
1967 History of the Second Seminole War 1835-1842.
Gainesville: University of Florida Press.
McKenny, Thomas L.
1872 History of the Indian Tribes of North America . .
Philadelphia: D. Rice & Co., Vol. 1.
Motte, Jacob R.
1953 Journey into Wilderness. Edited by James F.
Sunderman. Gainesville: University of Florida
1837-8 Niles National Register, September, 1837-February,
1838, Vol. 53. Washington, D.C.
INDIAN AUXILIARIES 165
1851 [John G. Pratt?] to James Findly, May 1851 [Muster
Rolls]. Pratt Papers, Kansas State Historical
Society, Topeka, Kansas.
Sprague, John T.
1848 The Origin, Progress, and Conclusion of the Florida
War . . New York: D. Appleton & Co.
1972 The Delaware Indians: A History. New Brunswick:
Rutgers University Press.
Princeton, New Jersey
SALVAGE EXCAVATIONS AT THE LAW SCHOOL MOUND,
ALACHUA COUNTY, FLORIDA
Arlene Fradkin and Jerald T. Milanich
During the past three decades archeologists from the
University of Florida have compiled a large quantity of data
regarding village life and the developmental chronology of
the Alachua tradition, the culture occupying North-Central
Florida from ca. A.D. 800 into the first quarter of the 18th
century (Goggin 1948a, 1948b, 1949; Milanich 1969, 1971, 1972;
Symes and Stephens 1965). To date, however, only two Alachua
tradition burial mounds have been excavated--Woodward mound,
8A1-47 (Bullen 1949) and Henderson mound, 8A1-463 (Loucks
These mound excavations have raised interesting questions
regarding relationships between burial practices and social
organization, i.e., the Woodward mound burial population
exhibited normally distributed ratios of male-female and adult-
child individuals while the Henderon mound population was
nearly all adult female, suggesting possible use of the mound
by kin-related females. Use of the two mounds by different
social groups may also be reflected in their relative loca-
tions; the Woodward mound was immediately adjacent to a village
(and thus used by all village members?) while the Henderson
mound was placed well away from any village (the nearest
recorded Alachua village is more than two kilometers away;
tests failed to reveal any Alachua culture occupation in the
immediate vicinity of the mound). The Woodward mound is
associated with a village believed to be early within the
Alachua tradition (ca. A.D. 800, Milanich 1971:28) while the
Henderson mound has not been relatively dated due to a lack
of cultural remains in or near it (samples for radiocarbon
dating have not as yet been analyzed).
Despite these differences, the basic form of both mounds
is the same. Initiating burials were covered by a small sand
mound; through time individual extended burials were placed
either on the surface of the mound or in shallow pits with
the heads pointed toward the northwest edge of the primary
mound and the feet toward the nearest portion of the mound's
edge. Such burials were then covered with sand. The majority
of interments were made on the east and southeast sides of the
mound, causing an accretion of the mound in those directions.
Other than a few shell beads, and worked bone artifacts, grave
goods did not accompany individuals. Single skull interments
and secondary bundle burials were infrequently placed in the
mound. Red ochre was often scattered liberally over and
The Florida Anthropologist, vol. 30, no. 4, December 1977
LAW SCHOOL MOUND
around individuals. Large areas of charcoal (charred posts
or "planks"?) were directly associated with burials as well
as elsewhere in the mounds, suggesting that either wooden
tombs or charnel structures were present.
These sets of data from the two mounds generate an obvious
hypothesis: During the earliest portion of the Hickory Pond
period (ca. A.D. 800-900) burial mounds were constructed next
to villages and were used for interment of all deceased village
inhabitants; later, with increased social straficiation, burial
mounds were constructed in isolated locations and were used
almost exclusively for interment of related adult females
matrilineall) who, with their husbands, resided together within
villages (matrilocality). At the time of European contact
such a pattern of matrilineality and matrilocality was wide-
spread among Southeastern aborigines, including the Potano
aborigines--the historic descendants of the Alachua peoples in
the Alachua County area.
With this hypothesis in mind, a review was made of the
archeological site files to locate a similar, low sand burial
mound (with an east-side extension) located either adjacent
to an Alachua tradition village (as was Woodward) or in an
isolated position on high ground close to a water source (as
was Henderson). An isolated mound, whose shape and appearance
suggested an Alachua association, was located on the campus of
the University of Florida. Permission to excavate the state-
owned site, named the Law School mound, 8A1-297, was obtained
from the Division of Archives, History and Records Management
and the spring 1976, University of Florida archeological field
school, directed by J.T. Milanich, carried out the excavation.
An additional reason for selecting the campus mound was the
recent construction of a vita parcours (jogging track) over
the western mound edge, increasing the vulnerability of the
site to further disturbance.
Description of the Site
The Law School mound is situated on the western edge of
the University of Florida campus in Gainesville, Florida,
immediately southwest of the intersection of Newberry Road
and Southwest 25th Street. Surrounding the site is a residential
area to the west and a wooded (oak-pine) hammock along its
eastern, northern, and southern peripheries. Several hundred
yards to the east is the University of Florida Law School.
Currently, the site is located in a small, pine-scrub oak,
hammock. An 1883 map of Alachua County (published by Matheson
and McMillan) shows the immediate area encompassing the mound
as being cleared and cultivated at that time. Pines, presently
growing on and beside the mound, are estimated as being 90 years
old, indicating the field was fallow from the late 1880's.
Present vegetation suggests that the area is the seral stage of
FRADKIN AND MILANICH
a mesic hammock; although pines predominate, they will
eventually be replaced by a broad-leaved oak forest. Hence
the site is in second-growth; prior to cultivation it was
probably a mesic hammock.
The Law School mound is believed to be "Mound 6" excavated
by James Bell of Gainesville, in 1881. A terse three-sentence
report in the Smithsonian Annual Report for 1881 describes the
site as ". . about 8 feet high and 80 feet in base diameter.
It stood in a cleared field which had been plowed over for a
number of years. Nothing was discovered within it; although
a ditch was cut through from one side to the other" (Bell 1883).
Although Bell's ditch went "from one side to the other"
of the mound, an ominous statement to the archeologist, it was
felt that he had disturbed only the central portion of the
mound and that the contents of the east side might be intact.
A large pot-hole, believed to be Bell's, was observable in the
center of the mound (see Fig. 1).
At the time of excavation the "mound" measured 20 m north-
south and 21.5 m east-west, with a height of 0.65 m. Excava-
tion revealed that these dimensions had been greatly altered
from those of the original mound which was about 15 m in
diameter and as much as two meters in height. The addition
of burials to the east side eventually resulted in an east-
west axis of about 20 m. Plowing of the area and Bell's
excavation both had caused sand from the mound to be redeposited
around the mound fringe, especially on the south and east sides
(see Fig. 2). No borrow pit was evident in the vicinity of
Excavation of the mound proceeded in standard fashion.
A grid system was used to maintain horizontal control and a
transit provided vertical control. Nine 3 m x 3 m square
excavation units were dug, and all soil was sifted through a
mechanical shaking screen with 3/4" x 3/8" diamond-shaped
mesh. Eight days were spent with a crew of twenty students
excavating the mound, which was subsequently backfilled.
Initially, excavation of two transects was begun simultaneously;
one, a series of three-meter squares, approached the mound's
center from the north while a double line of three-meter squares
approached it from the east (see Fig. 2).
It did not take long to realize three conditions which
made testing of the original research hypothesis impossible.
First, leaching of the mound had made it impossible to dis-
tinguish basket loading (or other strata) within the fill of
the mound. A natural soil profile had begun to form, making
it very difficult in some units to determine where the original
base and edges of the mound had been. Secondly, the acid soils
LAW SCHOOL MOUND
Contour map of mound with 15 cm contour intervals
measured in meters above mean sea level.
0 3 6
I MNA. 76
Fig. 2. Mound outline showing excavations, Bell's trench,
and original mound.
FRADKIN AND MILANICH
had almost completely dissolved all of the human bone in
the mound. A few thumbnail-size fragments of bone were all
that were left. As would be expected, most of these were on
the east side of the mound. One secondary burial (described
below, and also in poor condition due to the acid soils) was
encountered. Its preservation was possibly due to the fact
that the bones had been thoroughly dried before being interred
in the mound. The third factor affecting our interpretations
was that the large pot-hole in the mound's center post-dated
Bell's trench. Bell's rectangular 6 m x 8.5 m excavation was
actually centered just east of the mound's center and had been
backfilled. His excavation extended down below the base of the
mound into sterile soil. The more modern pot-hole had been
rather shallow and had partially intersected Bell's trench.
Further hindering interpretation was the presence of a buried
gas line placed north-south through the western side of the
Once these factors were realized and evaluated, the goals
of the research were altered. It was decided that the excava-
tion would attempt only to verify the original extent of the
mound and to try to reconstruct the mound construction process.
Although the presence of bone in the mound could possibly be
established by testing for phospherous content, the same data
were already obtainable from the distribution of bone frag-
ments. Sex and age of skeletons were indeterminable from either
line of evidence. Also, partially as a learning exercise,
the extent of Bell's excavation was to be traced. In order
to accomplish these objectives in a minimum of time, one-meter-
wide trenches were laid out west and south from the mound's
original center intersecting the mound's edges. Similar,
although shorter, trenches were cut in the vicinity of Bell's
excavation to determine its extent (see Fig. 2). None of these
trenches were screened, although artifacts were kept from each
stratum. Profiles of the north-south and east-west trench
walls as well as the walls of the trenches intersecting Bell's
excavation were kept. The east-west and north-south mound
profiles are shown in Figure 3. Figure 4 shows the excavation
in progress and a representative profile.
Interpretation of Mound Construction and Bell's Excavation
Prior to the construction of the mound, the immediate
area served as a camp site for Archaic (pre-500 B.C.),
Deptford (500 B.C.-A.D. 200), and Alachua tradition peoples.
Such small camps are common throughout North-Central Florida
in similar locations, i.e., mesic hammocks on high ground
within a kilometer of a water source (in the case of the Law
School site, Lake Alice is 0.8 km south; banks of the lake
are 21 m above mean sea level while the land surface around
east-west profile through mound along A-A' line in Fig. 2
north-south profile through mound along B-B' line in Fig. 2
dark grey sub-mound humus.
fill of Bell's 1881 excavation.
modern humus, post-1881.
horizontally bedded grey-tan sand.
plowed mound fill, pre-1881.
tan-mottled-with-grey sand mound
fill; grades into "E".
0 3 6
tan sub-mound sand. meters
white sand with feric concretions.
Bell's spoil washed down into his backfill.
machine-dug trench for gasoline.
brown-mottled-with-grey sand mound wash.
Fig. 3. Mound stratigraphy.
FRADKIN AND MILANICH
Fig. 4. Top: Excavations on east side of mound. Strata
shown in profile of excavation unit in foreground
are (from top) modern humus, spoil and wash from
Bell's trench, plow zone (pre-1881), mound fill,
and sub-mound sand. Bottom: Beginning excavations
on east side of mound. Note mechanical shaker and
dense, post-1881 vegetation.
LAW SCHOOL MOUND
the mound is 38 m + m.s.l.). Evidence for these occupations
at the Law School site consists of flint chips, Archaic
stemmed projectile points, and a few flint tools (scrapers,
choppers, etc.). Pottery and lithic artifacts from both
the Deptford period and the Alachua tradition were scattered
in the old humic strata (shown in Fig. 3) and the leached-
out tan-gray sand (Zone D) underlying the old humus. A few
flint chips were found scattered in the white sand stratum
(Zone E) which extended down to the top of the underlying clay
eroding up from the Hawthorne Formation. In several places
this clay extended up almost to the sub-mound humus.
A small hearth, believed to be from the Deptford period,
was found in the top of the highest point of the clay under
the eastern extension of the mound. The hearth consisted of
a small roughly circular pit 30 cm in diameter, extending 9 cm
down into the clay. A small spoil pile of excavated clay
was evident beside the hearth. Some charred wood (including
a charred hickory nut hull) and 256 pieces of ferric concre-
tions (almost all broken from 8-10 fist-size concretions)
were placed within the hearth. A Deptford Check Stamped
potsherd and a unifacial flint scraping tool lay beside the
top of the hearth.
Sometime after A.D. 950 (see section on dating below)
the Alachua peoples began construction of the mound. What is
believed to have been a central initiatory grave pit was dug
into the old ground surface in what was to be the center of
the mound (see east-west profile in Fig. 3). Sand from the
old land surface or from a nearby borrow pit was scraped up
and deposited over this sub-mound grave (Zone C in Fig. 3).
This primary structure was about 15 m in diameter and, perhaps,
as tall as 2 m. Incidental pottery and flint artifacts were
found scattered throughout the mound fill. Additional burials
were probably placed in the mound at this time, since pieces
of human bone were found in what is believed to have been the
primary mound. The humus stratum present on the ground surface
was not removed prior to construction, as evidenced by its
distribution in Figure 3, providing an important clue to the
extent of the original mound.
Through time, additional burials were placed predominately
on the east side of the mound. At least one secondary bundle
burial (previously dried) was interred close to the eastern
edge of the mound and may have been one of the last interments
in the mound. The individual, identified by Dr. William R.
Maples of the Florida State Museum, was an adult, middle-aged
female. Skull, teeth, and long bones were present. Perhaps
the bones were those of a female ancestor stored until use of
the mound was concluded and then deposited. The female burial
is one very small piece of evidence that the mound may have
been used primarily for kin-related females. The lack of a
FRADKIN AND MILANICH
sub-mound humic stratum on the east side of the mound may
have been the result of intentional clearing or of natural
washing or leaching action.
During the succeeding hundreds of years the mound remained
undisturbed by human action and a thick humic stratum formed
on the surface. Rainfall and other natural actions (caused by
animals, roots, etc.) eventually led to the formation of a
natural soil profile with the B Horizon forming within the
mound fill stratum. In the late 19th century the immediate
area was cleared for cultivation and plowed. Tilling created
a very distinctive dark plow zone (Zone B in Fig. 3) over the
entire mound. Because this plowing loosened and moved the
soil, the height of the mound was reduced. Artifacts recovered
in the present excavation from the plow zone represent the same
types as those found in the mound fill, since the plowed zone
was, in fact, plowed mound fill. One 19th century clay marble
with red paint was recovered from a plow furrow.
In 1881, James Bell, an assistant postmaster in Gainesville,
undertook excavation of the mound. Bell's rather large rect-
angular trench was backfilled after completion of his investi-
gations, and the shovel-loading of his backfill (shown in
Fig. 3) was very distinctive. As with most modern excavations,
some of his spoil dirt was not returned to the trench and
remained deposited on top of the pre-1881 plowed mound surface
(Zone H, wash stratum, in Fig. 3). Indeed, some of his spoil
(Zone F) appears to have washed down into his backfill,
indicating that his excavation took more than one day to com-
plete and fill in.
A few late 19th century artifacts were deposited in Bell's
backfill and his spoil. These materials included two pork
chop bones, pieces of broken bottles, and several oyster shells--
perhaps the remains of a Sunday afternoon picnic at the site
during the excavations. Such excursions are described for the
Gainesville area in the late 19th century. A broken bone-
handled penknife (used to open the oysters?) was found on the
plow zone, under Bell's spoil.
Sometime after Bell's excavation, another individual dug
in the top of the mound. This pothole was not backfilled,
and most of the spoil was subsequently washed down the western
edge of the mound (Zone H in Fig. 3). Modern activities, both
construction of the gas line and the jcgging track, have
further reduced the height of the mound, cutting through the
post-1881 humus (Zone A) which formed on the mound after Bell's
activities and the subsequent digging of the pothole. The
mound has been used in the 20th century as something of a dump
area; the modern humus (Zone A) contained a variety of modern
LAW SCHOOL MOUND
artifacts, including golf balls, marbles, glass, dishware,
light bulb bases, nails, a sport-jacket, a 1966 U.S. quarter,
and assorted other debris.
Aboriginal Artifacts from the Mound
As stated above, the artifacts, pottery and flint, found
in the various mound strata, were deposited there incidentally
along with the soil scraped up to form the mound. Analysis
of artifacts from the various strata in and under the mound
showed no important differences in percentages of distributions
or types of artifacts. Consequently, intra-site provenience
is not important and the ceramic types are listed together in
Table 1. All of the ceramic types present follow previous
The sand-tempered plain sherds are from both the Deptford
period and the Alachua period and could not be distinguished
from one another on the basis of visual observation. In order
to determine whether or not differences existed in pottery-
making technology and clay sources between the Deptford and
the Alachua ceramic inventories, a sample of twenty sherds
(including specimens known to be Deptford or Alachua from the
type of surface treatment, and plain sherds whose cultural
provenience was uncertain) were subjected to several analytical
tests. These tests, porosity, density, retiring, and
microscopic examination, showed that the Alachua tradition
Prairie Cord Marked sherds differed in iron content, and perhaps,
clay source, from the Deptford sherds. Other Alachua sherds,
however, displayed similarities to the Deptford ware upon
retiring; perhaps at least one clay source was used by both
peoples. Differences in size of tempering materials (quartz
and sand grains), range of porosity, and range of density,
varied significantly between the two wares, as well as between
the cord marked and cob marked specimens. Results of these
tests on the Law School mound specimens as well as tests on
other Florida wares will be presented in a later paper by
Fradkin. The fact that differences in manufacturing techniques
and, hence, the resulting ceramic vessels, do exist and can be
quantified, certainly warrants additional experimentation and
All of the chert artifacts from the site were manufactured
from a local, whitish, low quality chert. Some of the arti-
facts, including debitage, exhibited red to pink coloring and
the waxy surface appearance of thermally altered flint. None
of the tools displayed a high degree of workmanship; rather,
as with most North-Central Florida specimens, they were shaped
only enough to serve a functional purpose.
One small fragment of mica from the mound fill is the
only material recovered from an aboriginal context at the site
which is not indigenous to North-Central Florida. Mica has not
been recovered from Alachua tradition sites although it is common
at pre-Alachua tradition sites.
FRADKIN AND MILANICH
TYPE NUMBER PERCENTAGE
Deptford Simple Stamped 63/1 16.7
Deptford Cross Simple Stamped 8 2.1
Deptford Check Stamped 25 6.6
Deptford Linear Check Stamped 4 1.1
Alachua Cob Marked 5 1.3
Prairie Cord Marked 25/1 6.6
Alachua Net Marked 3 0.8
Gainesville Linear Punctated 1 0.3
St. John's Plain 2 0.5
Sand-tempered Plain 241/10 63.9
TOTAL 377/12 100
Slash marks indicate number of rim sherds
(amount included in quantity figure)
Table 1. Sherd totals for mound and sub-mound contexts.
Dating the Mound
The absence of datable grave goods or samples for radio-
carbon analysis leaves only the ceramics which were incidental
inclusions in the mound fill (or found below the mound) to
be used for dating purposes. To make matters even more dif-
ficult (and less accurate) there are only 33 sherds known to
be of Alachua tradition origin; the plain sherds cannot be
attributed to either Deptford or Alachua tradition contexts.
LAW SCHOOL MOUND
The ratio of cord marked to cob marked to net impressed
Alachua sherds is (from Table 1) 25:6:3 or 5:1:0.6. Examina-
tion of a seriation table for Alachua ceramics prepared
previously (Milanich 1971:28) sho,s that such a ratio occurred
at ca. A.D. 950. Thus, it is likely that the mound was con-
structed at some point after that date.
Like the Woodward and Henderson mounds, the Law School
site was a low, sand, burial mound constructed by the Alachua
tradition peoples. Deposition of the primary mound was prob-
ably preceded by the interment of one or more indivuals in a
burial pit below the original ground surface. The subsequent
round mound centered over this initiatory burial was about
15 m in diameter and perhaps as high as two meters. Later,
additional interments were made in the mound; most individuals
were probably placed in shallow pits or laid on the surface
of the mound and covered with sand; at least one secondary bundle
burial was placed in a shallow pit. The majority of these
interments were on the east-southeast portion of the mound,
causing accretional development of the mound in that direction
and giving it the somewhat oval appearance that it has today.
The mound was probably constructed after A.D. 950.
Unfortunately, Bell's 1881 excavation, the pre-1881
plowing of the site, natural leaching of the mound fill, and
the action of ground acids, have further reduced the quantity
of information available to the archeologist concerning the
burial practices of the Alachua peoples and their relevance
to Alachua belief systems and social organization.
1883 Mounds in Alachua County, Florida. Smithsonian
Annual Report for 1881, pp. 635-637.
Bullen, Ripley P.
1949 The Woodward Site. Florida Anthropologist
Goggin, John M.
1948a Some Pottery Types from Central Florida. The
Gainesville Anthropological Association Bulletin 1.
1948b A Revised Temporal Chart of Florida Archeology.
The Florida Anthropologist 1:57-60.
1949 Cultural Traditions in Florida Prehistory. In
The Florida Indian and His Neighbors, edited by
John W. Griffin. Inter American Center, Rollins
College, Winter Park.
FRADKIN AND MILANICH
Loucks, L. Jill
1976 Early Alachua Tradition Burial Ceremonialism:
The Henderson Mound, Alachua County, Florida.
Unpublished M.A. thesis, Department of Anthropology,
University of Florida.
The Alachua Tradition: Extension of Wilmington-
Savannah Peoples into Central Florida. Florida
1971 The Alachua Tradition of North-Central Florida.
Contributions of the Florida State Museum,
Anthropology and History, No. 17.
1972 Excavations at the Richardson Site, Alachua
County, Florida: An Early 17th Century Potano
Indian Village. Florida Department of State,
Bureau of Historic Sites and Properties Bulletin,
No. 2, pp. 35-61.
Symes, M.I., and M. E. Stephens
1965 A-272: The Fox Pond Site, Florida Anthropologist
A MODEL FOR BARRIER ISLAND SETTLEMENT PATTERN
Alan E. McMichael
In a paper presented before the thirty-second South-
eastern Archaeological Conference the author summarized the
results of two seasons of archaeological survey of Sapelo
Island, Georgia (Simpkins and McMichael 1976). This paper
presents a model for barrier island settlement pattern based
on a probability sample obtained on Sapelo Island and suggests
its application to other barrier islands on the Georgia coast.
The term settlement pattern is used here in the sense
of Trigger's (1968:54-55) "macrosettlement patterns."
Trigger distinguishes between the internal layout or pat-
terning of a settlement, the microsettlement pattern, and the
size, nature, and location of settlements on the landscape,
i.e., the macrosettlement pattern. The terms are derived
from Chang's (1968:6-7) distinction between the sociocultural
"microstructure" and "macrostructure" of communities. Sears
(1961:226) has invoked a similar dichotomy. For the most part,
the macrostructure of a settlement pattern reflects the articu-
lation of technology and environment whereas the microstructure
is more often determined by factors of kinship or political
organization, although as Trigger (1968:61-62) points out,
ecological and sociocultural factors are not totally independent
Sapelo Island (Fig. 1) is one of six barrier islands on
the Georgia coast composed of Pleistocene sediments with
Holocene additions (Hoyt and Hails 1967). The barrier islands
are composed of parallel rows of successive beach ridges which
were isolated by submergence during the Holocene. The beach
ridges have undergone erosion, losing their dunelike relief,
to become sand ridges, uniformly high and level. The lagoons
were partially filled with eroded sands and exist today as
sloughs, elongate fresh or brackish water swamps paralleling
the ridges (Fig. 2).
For the first two field seasons on Sapelo, archaeological
survey was informal. No systematic coverage plan was employed
other than a determination to survey as much of the island
as possible. A considerable amount of ground was covered in
this fashion and several large sites were discovered (Fig. 3).
An apparent relationship between sites and areas of certain
topography, soils and vegetation led me to state at the SEAC
conference in Gainesville:
The Florida Anthropologist, vol. 30, no. 4, December 1977
Fig. 1. Location of Sapelo Island, Georgia.
Fig. 2. Generalized east-west cross section of a barrier
island; not to scale.
/oLOC E. STRAAYO
BARRIER ISLAND SETTLEMENT
ORIGINALL OCCUPATION AS
DITIRMINID BY SUIVIY
I M S I
1 .5 0 1
.... habitation sites on the island appear to be
strategically located with respect to natural
features rather than uniformly spread over the
island or occurring purely at random.
.... sites appear to be concentrated in areas
contiguous to the marsh, i.e., the western side
of the island and the northeast corner.
.... within these areas, sites tend to occur closest
to points at which tidal creeks approach the shore.
[Finally,].... sites are encountered most frequently
on the perimeter of the island, those areas of
greatest elevation. Sites appear to be lacking
in the low-lying interior (Simpkins and McMichael
Informal survey had indicated that archaeological sites
are difficult to detect unless the surface of the ground is
exposed. Further, while, with only two exceptions, all of
the sites located were on high ground, this was also the area
which had been most intensively surveyed. These problems, com-
bined with a desire to test the hypothesis stated above prompted
me to employ a stratified random sample combined with systematic
In stratified sampling the research area is "... sub-
divided, or stratified, on the basis of some prior knowledge,
into various groups called strata. The purpose of stratifica-
tion is to insure that sampling units are selected from each
stratum, and, therefore, that the full variability that exists
within a survey area is expressed in the sample" (Mueller
1974:32). In this case, stratification also serves to
facilitate testing relationships of archaeological sites to
Basic to any survey report is the investigator's defini-
tion of a site. For the purposes of this discussion a site
is defined as any evidence of aboriginal activity with no
differentiation as to chronological position. Unless augmented
by testing excavation, archaeological survey is seldom
suitable for addressing changes in settlement patterns through
time, due to the tendency of surface collections to emphasize
the later components of multicomponent sites. In this regard,
the settlement model presented here may differ from Trigger's
macrosettlement pattern in that Trigger (1968:54-55) and Chang
(1968:3) define settlement patterns as consisting of con-
temporary settlements. A settlement model is advanced here for
the entire range of prehistoric occupation on Sapelo Island.
BARRIER ISLAND SETTLEMENT
The target population (Mueller 1974:28) for the sample
consisted of all of Sapelo Island owned by the State of
Georgia as of summer, 1976. No areas of marsh were included
in the population, nor were any of the hammocks with
the exception of Moses' Hammock which is connected to the
island by a causeway. The south end of the island, under
private ownership at the time, was excluded, introducing an
arbitrary boundary into the sampled population (Mueller 1974:28).
Environmental stratification was based on three variables:
elevation, soils, and vegetation. Rather than test each
variable independently, they were combined to create five
discrete environmental zones, following the suggestions of
Blalock (1972:400-401) and Mueller (1974:65).
Soil boundaries as mapped by the Soil Conservation Service
(Byrd et al. 1961) were transferred onto U. S. G. S. topographic
maps which show elevation in five foot contours (1.5 meters).
A false color infrared transparency of Sapelo was then pro-
jected onto the map and gross, observable differences in
vegetation were delineated. The three variables coincided to
a considerable degree, as would be expected given the inter-
relationship of elevation, soils and vegetation. Where the
boundaries of the three variables coincided, they were bundled
together to form the boundaries of the sampling strata. Where
a marked divergence occurred between boundaries, a single
variable was emphasized, usually soil type because of the
great amount and detail of information contained in the soil
Stratification resulted in five discrete environmental
zones which account for practically the full range of variability
on the island and are easily recognized in the field by an
untrained observer. These zones, which correspond in size
and scope to the microenvironments of Coe and Flannery (1964)
were chosen as the sampling strata (Fig. 4).
The Sampling Strata
Stratum A consists of a series of relict Pleistocene
beach ridges which appear today as elongate sand ridges of
relatively high elevation. Elevations range from a low of
about seven feet (2 meters) to a maximum height of sixteen
feet (5 meters) with the majority of the stratum lying between
the ten (3 meter) and fifteen foot (4.5 meters) contour lines.
Soils are a combination of several associated sandy
series commonly found on level or gently sloping sand ridges.
They range from poorly to excessively drained and are generally
friable. The series in order of abundance within Stratum A
are: Ona, Scranton, Palm Beach, Kleg and Galestown. Limited
71 *'." 7 t'-' /:SA MPLING UNIT
iILO: . ,
\ Fig. 4. Formal survey.
MclNTOSH CO., GA.
Fig- 4- Formal survey.
BARRIER ISLAND SETTLEMENT
areas of Leon fine sand, a poorly drained soil, are also
found in Stratum A (Byrd et al. 1961).
Vegetation within Stratum A is described as the Maritime
Live Oak Forest (Johnson et al. 1974:44), an association
dominated by live oak (Quercus virginiana) and Laurel oak
(Q. laurifolia) with smaller amounts of Magnolia spp. and pine
(Pinus spp.) laced with a network of grape (Vitus spp.) and
The dense live oak canopy limits the amount of sunlight
reaching the ground, resulting in a sparse overstory and
understory. Dominant species in the overstory include red
cedar (Juniperus silicicola), holly (Ilex opaca), mulberry
(Morus rubra), and yaupon (Ilex vomitoria), with small
amounts of redbay (Persea borbonia), sweetbay (Magnolia
virginiana), hickory (Carya, spp.) and cabbage palms (Sabal
palmetto). Important species in the understory include wax
myrtle (Myrica cerifera), gallberry (Ilex glabra), saw palmetto
(Serenoa repens) and, in areas of greatest sunlight, three
species of blueberry (Vaccinium spp.) plus various grasses
Stratum A consists largely of two sand ridges, one
extending along the western edge of the island and a second
along the eastern edge. While Stratum A is rather homogenous,
its two main components are not contiguous but are widely
separated, a condition essentially unique to Stratum A.
Further, the west ridge faces the extensive Duplin estuary
and the mainland beyond while the east ridge faces a thinner
stretch of marsh, a Holocene strand, and the Atlantic Ocean.
This contrast could have been manifest in terms of aboriginal
In order to increase the homogeneity of the strata and
to prevent clustering of Stratum A sampling units on only
one side of the island, Stratum A was subdivided into A,
the west ridge and A', the east ridge.
Stratum B is composed of a large two-pronged slough
system, extending the length of the island parallel to the
sand ridges. Elevations are low, generally less than ten
feet (3 meters), with substantial areas occurring at less
than five feet (1.5 meters). Soils consist almost entirely
of a single type, Rutledge fine sand, with smaller amounts
of St. Johns fine sand. Rutledge soils are very poorly
drained, extremely acid soils occurring in drainageways and
bays (Byrd et al. 1961). Several areas within Stratum B
appear to be flooded year around.
Natural vegetation in sloughs varies according to age
and degree of sedimentation, undergoing successional change
from an aquatic plant community (Georgia Department of
Natural Resources 1975:73), to a grass-sedge savannah
(Braun 1967:286), and finally to a forested swamp (Johnson
et al. 1974:51).
A map of Sapelo prepared in 1760 by Yonge and Debrahm
and now on file at the Georgia Department of Archives and
History shows the slough system as a "large savannah of fresh
water" between the sand ridges.
In the 1920's Howard Coffin drained the sloughs, drastically
changing the vegetational communities. An elderly resident
of Sapelo stated that the island was "wet, wet, wet" before
Coffin drained the sloughs. The informant described an area
that today is covered by a mixed pine-hardwood forest as a
treeless plain, extremely wet, and completely planted in rice.
The water was fresh and potable.
Stratum C combines the highest elevations of Stratum A
with the poor drainage of Stratum B. Elevations, for the
most part, are between ten (3 meters) and fifteen feet (4.5
meters). Soils within Stratum C are of a single type, St.
Johns fine sand. St. Johns soils are poorly drained to very
poorly drained, and are formed in sands on low marine terraces
(Byrd et al. 1961:19).
Stratum C is dotted with numerous ponds, bays and swamps.
As in Stratum B, water was often encountered within 40-50 cm.
of the surface. Although Stratum C appears to represent a
Pleistocene beach ridge flanked by low lying flats, its inland
location would result in interior drainage which could account
for the high ground water level. St. Johns soil contains a
hardpan layer within one meter of the surface, which could
also contribute to the poor drainage (see Braun 1967:286).
Vegetation consists basically of a light to medium
understory of slash (Pinus elliottii), pond (P. serotina), and
longleaf pine (P. palustris) exhibiting variation according
to drainage. Wet or dry, the understory is dominated by saw
palmetto with monotonous regularity.
Stratum D is the Holocene strand, separated from the
island proper by a narrow salt marsh lagoon. The strand
exhibits high relief, elevations ranging from 0 to fifteen
feet (4.5 meters). Soils are fine quartz beach sands with
varying amounts of small shell fragments (Byrd et al. 1961).
BARRIER ISLAND SETTLEMENT
The strand vegetation has been characterized as the salt
spray community because of the limiting effects of salt
spray, constant winds, and extremes of sunlight and tempera-
ture on the vegetation. The strand exhibits a floristic
zonation extending inland from the beach. The beach is
colonized by sandspur (Cenchrus tribuloides), saltwater
cordgrass (Spartina patens), and sea rocket (Cakile spp.).
The foredunes support sea oats (Uniola paniculata), Yucca
spp., prickly pear (Opuntia spp.), and youpon. The stabilized
backdunes support a dense, ingrown canopy of live oak, red
bay wax myrtle, Sabal palmetto and saw palmetto.
Within the strata, simple random sampling was employed.
A grid was superimposed over the map, oriented along the
long axis of the island. Each grid unit represents a
square on the ground 120 meters on a side.
The sampling units were numbered and a sample was drawn
from within each stratum by consulting a table of random
numbers (Blalock 1972:table B). The relatively small sample
size precluded the necessity of sampling with replacement
(Blalock 1972:396). The sample is proportional in that a
sampling fraction of 1/44.82 was employed for all five strata.
Thus the percentage of each stratum tested is proportional
to the percentage of the sampled population contained within
each stratum (Blalock 1972:399-401; Mueller 1974:32-33).
The number of units to be tested within each stratum
was computed to two decimal places, totalling 39.98. These
figures were rounded off, reaching a new total of 41 units.
Assuming adequate testing of each unit, sample size is slightly
over 2 percent.
The units were located in the field with the use of a
Brunton compass and a 50 meter chain. Starting from some
feature recognized on the topographic map, a compass line
was projected to the nearest corner of the unit. Once at the
corner, a compass line was projected along the diagonal of
the unit. The line was cut through and ten postholes were
placed at seventeen meter intervals. The postholes were
dug to a depth of one meter and the stratigraphy recorded.
The advantages of subsurface testing must be weighted
against the additional time involved. The necessarily limited
number of postholes had to be placed in a manner that would
maximize their effectiveness and allow for adequate coverage
of a unit 14,400 square meters in area. Testing only along
the diagonal is a logistic compromise but was considered the
most efficient subsurface testing technique possible in the
limited time available.
The results of the test were rather dramatic. Out of
four units tested in Stratum A, two contained sites. Out of
three units tested in Stratum A', two contained sites. No
sites were found in any of the 37 remaining tests in Strata
B, C, and D. All four sites encountered were shell middens.
Irene and San Marcos complicated stamped sherds, along with
one unidentified grit tempered plain sherd, were found in two
of the sites, indicating a late Mississippi period to proto-
historic or historic occupation.
A chi square test was employed to determine the probability
of such a site distribution occurring by change alone. Because
several of the expected frequencies were low, Yates' correc-
tion for continuity was applied. A null hypothesis, stating
that there are no significant differences between the strata,
was tested. A chi square statistic of 17.24 with four degrees
of freedom resulted. The null hypothesis of no difference
cannot be accepted even at a level of significant e of .001
When Strata A and A' are combined and tested against
the other strata an almost identical chi square statistic
results. For the remainder of this discussion, Strata A and
A' will be discussed as one.
The results of informal and formal archaeological survey
on Sapelo Island indicate that aboriginal occupation was
limited to the Pleistocene sand ridges. The ridges offer
elevation and the best compromise between poor and excessive
drainage that is to be found on the island. This is not to
imply that the aboriginal inhabitants never ventured out of
Stratum A. The other strata could well have been exploited
for particular resources and, in fact, subsistence oriented,
task specific sites may be found outside of Stratum A. How-
ever, while there is no reason to doubt that Strata B, C, and
D were exploited, they do not seem to have been suitable for
It is important to note that sites are not continuous
throughout Stratum A. Sites do appear to be concentrated in
areas contiguous to the marsh, particularly where tidal
streams approach the shore. This may indicate the importance
of the estuary to subsistence.
Application to Other Barrier Islands
Considering the geological similarity of barrier islands,
it is predicted that similar settlement patterns are manifest
BARRIER ISLAND SETTLEMENT
Chi square analysis of site distribution.
Yates' correction for continuity applied.
on all of Georgia's Pleistocene barrier islands. Application
of the Sapelo model can be made with less assurance to
Pleistocene marsh islands and perhaps not at all to Holocene
islands. Supporting evidence can be drawn from several
reports of island surveys, many of which unfortunately have
not been published.
Archaeological survey on Ossabaw Island, Georgia has
been reported by DePratter (1974) and Pearson (1977). In
contrast to the Sapelo survey, the Ossabaw survey included
A 2 2
A' 2 1 c
B 0 26 17.24 at 4df
C 0 7 p = < .001
D 0 1
+ = positive indications of sites
= negative indications of sites
a large Holocene formation. On Sapelo, Holocene sediments
included within the target population are limited to Stratum
D, the narrow strand. The Holocene formation included in
the Ossabaw survey is comparable to Blackbeard Island,
immediately northeast of Sapelo.
The Pleistocene portion of Ossabaw consists of sand
ridges composed of Lakeland and Chipley soils. These are
flanked by more poorly drained flats composed of Olustee
and Leon soils, similar to Stratum C soils on Sapelo. Between
the ridges lie the sloughs, composed of Ellabelle soils, plus
stretches of high marsh described as Capers soils and fresh
water tidal marsh. Soils on the Holocene formation are
described as belonging to the Kershaw-Osier complex. The
strand is composed of Coastal beach sand (Wilkes et al. 1974).
DePratter's (1974) site map shows 116 aboriginal sites
on Ossabaw, excluding the outlying hammocks. When these sites
are plotted on the soil map, 58 sites, or 50% appear to
be located on sand ridges in Lakeland or Chipley soils. Eighteen
sites, 16%, appear to be located on flats adjacent to the
ridges on Olustee and Leon soils. Fourteen sites, 12%, appear
to be located in or immediately adjacent to sloughs, on
Ellabelle soils. Twenty-six sites, 22%,appear to be located
on Holocene ridges on Kershaw-Osier soils.
Half the sites located in or near sloughs appear also
to be located in immediate proximity to the marsh. Although
26 sites are located on Holocene sediments, no sites are
reported from the strand or "beach front" (Pearson 1977:69).
It would appear then that site distribution on Ossabaw resembles
the model presented here, i.e., the majority of sites are located
on the Pleistocene sand ridges with fewer sites reported on
the poorly drained flats, few sites reported in the sloughs,
and no sites reported on the strand.
Pearson (1977) has analyzed the environmental factors
influencing settlement during the Irene phase on Ossabaw.
Known Irene sites were arranged in a site size hierarchy generated
by cluster analysis. Site frequencies were then cross
tabulated by size class, forest communities, soil types,
distance from the marsh and distance from the nearest tidal
stream. These environmental variables were quantified by
ranking them in order of their assumed importance to aboriginal
settlement (Pearson 1977:65-98).
The results indicate that the larger Irene sites are
more often associated with a "Mixed Oak-Hardwood" forest com-
munity and well drained soils, i.e., Lakeland and Chipley.
Also, these large sites are usually within 100 meters of the
marsh and frequently within 200 meters of a tidal stream. As
BARRIER ISLAND SETTLEMENT
site size decreases, there is decreasing correlation with
"desirable" environmental variables (Pearson 1977:tables 1-7).
Pearson (1977:97-98) interprets this variation as indicating
functional differences between size classes: "A decrease in
site size corresponds to a selection for location in areas
of decreased environmental value. This is interpreted as
indicating increasing exploitive specialization as site-size
decreases with a corresponding decrease in a site's functional
Lakeland sand and Chipley fine sand, on which the
majority of large Irene sites occur, are formed on Pleistocene
sand ridges (Wilkes et al. 1974:15, 23). The poorly drained
soils falnking the ridges and in sloughs tend to contain fewer
and smaller sites. The environmental variables associated
with the largest sites, i.e., sand ridge soils, mixed Oak-
Hardwood forest, proximity to marsh and proximity to tidal
streams, represent the variables which constitute Stratum A
on Sapelo Island.
A recent survey of Cumberland Island, Georgia, has been
reported by Ehrenhard (1976). Site distribution on Cumberland
seems generally to fit within the model presented here with
some interesting exceptions:
The physical location of prehistoric cultural
remains on Cumberland Island are, as on the main-
land, along the edge of the marsh. The sites begin
at about the 2 meter contour line and extend
. Sites, more often than not, are located
within the oak-palmetto or oak-pine forest com-
munity (Ehrenhard 1976:43).
The majority of the sites appear to be located on Lakeland,
Chipley, or Leon soils with some sites extending onto adjacent
poorly drained soils. Six sites are located entirely on
poorly drained soils and one site, 9 Cam 36, is located on the
north end of the Holocene strand.
DePratter (1973) accomplished almost total coverage
of Black Island, Georgia, a Pleistocene marsh island west of
Sapelo. Six shell midden sites were discovered on the island
and two adjacent hammocks. DePratter noted the correlation
between sites and Ona and Scranton soils. No sites were found
in areas of St. Johns soils. The site bearing areas on Black
Island fit the parameters established for Stratum A on Sapelo.
All sites reported are located near the edge of the marsh.
Portions of Skidaway Island, Georgia, another Pleistocene
marsh island, were surveyed in the course of cultural resource
assessment. Initially the perimeter of the island was sur-
veyed revealing twenty sites (Caldwell 1970). Of these,
seventeen appear to be located on sand ridge soils, i.e.,
Lakeland sand and Chipley fine sand. The three exceptions
occur on Ellabelle soil, typically found in drainageways,
bays and sloughs (Wilkes et al. 1974).
A second survey was conducted on a small peninsula on
the southeastern corner of Skidaway Island. The peninsula
was first surveyed along the marsh edge then transected
east to west at 200 foot (61 meter) intervals (DePratter
1975:6-10). Again, the site distribution reported appears
to conform with the Sapelo model with some exceptions. The
occasional location of sites in sloughs or low areas seems to
be determined by proximity to the marsh edge.
Sheldon (1976) has recently conducted a survey of Colonel's
Island in Glynn County, Georgia, where he identified a "Live
Oak Zone" above ten feet (3 meters) in elevation, and a "Pine-
Oak-Palmetto Community" below ten feet. All of the sites
located were within the Live Oak Zone along the edge of the
The soil survey of Glynn County has not been published,
therefore no comparison can be made between archaeological
sites and soil types. However, Sheldon's Live Oak Zone shares
the elevation and vegetation of Stratum A on Sapelo. The
Pine-Oak-Palmetto Community resembles Strata B and C. Sheldon
also noticed the association of sites and the marsh edge,
particularly at points close to tidal streams.
On Green Island, a Pleistocene marsh island near Skidaway
Island, Crook (1975) first surveyed the marsh edge then
transected the island at 50 meter intervals. Out of 57 sites
discovered on Green Island and two nearby hammocks, 56 are
on Chipley or Lakeland soils, well drained soils formed on
sand ridges (Wilkes et al. 1974), and all are adjacent to
the estuary. The correlation of sites and tidal streams is
quite high on Green Island.
The reports cited above seem to support the model for
barrier island settlement pattern based on the Sapelo Island
Survey. However this does not constitute a test of the
model's application to other barrier islands. It is hoped
that future investigations will provide a means of testing
the hypothesis stated here. Where possible, future surveys
should address site distribution with respect to environmental
BARRIER ISLAND SETTLEMENT
variables, utilizing a probability sampling technique to
provide a statistical measure of reliability of the settle-
ment data obtained. Environmental variables can be quantified,
as Pearson (1977) has shown, to develop an index of the
environmental factors influencing settlement.
I wish to thank Dr. Lewis H. Larson, Jr. for providing
me with the opportunity and encouragement to conduct research
on Sapelo Island. Invaluable assistance and advice was also
rendered by Dr. Craig T. Sheldon, Jr., Morgan Ray Crook, Jr.,
and Jack Tyler. I especially wish to thank Daniel L. Simpkins,
who accompanied me in the field. Without him, the project
could not have been completed.
Blalock, Hubert M.
1972 Social Statistics. New York: McGraw-Hill.
Braun, E. Lucy
1967 Deciduous Forests of Eastern North America. New
York: Hafner Publishing Co.
Byrd, H. J., D. G. Aydelott, D. D. Bacon, and E. M. Stone
1961 Soil Survey of McIntosh County, Georgia. Washington,
D.C.: U.S. Gov't. Printing Office.
Caldwell, Joseph R.
1970 Proposal to the Branigar Organization, Inc., for
Archaeological Investigations on Skidaway Island,
Chatham County, Georgia. Unpublished report on file
in the Office of the Georgia State Archaeologist.
1968 Toward a Science of Prehistoric Society. In
Settlement Archaeology, edited by K.C. Chang, pp.
1-9, Palo Alto: National Press.
Coe, Michael D. and Kent V. Flannery
1964 Microenvironments and Mesoamerican Prehistory.
Crook, Morgan Ray, Jr.
1975 An Archaeological Survey of Green Island,Georgia.
Unpublished report on file in the Office of the
Georgia State Archaeologist.
DePratter, Chester B.
1973 Archaeological Survey of Black Island. Unpublished
report on file in the Office of the Georgia State
1974 An Archaeological Survey of Ossabaw Island, Chatham
County, Georgia: Preliminary Report. Unpublished
report on file in the Office of the Georgia State
1975 An Archaeological Survey of P. H. Lewis Property,
Skidaway Island, Chatham County, Georgia. Un-
published report on file in the Office of the Georgia
Ehrenhard, John E.
1976 Cumberland Island National Seashore: Assessment of
Archaeological and Historical Resources. Tallahassee:
Southeast Archaeological Center, National Park Service.
Georgia Department of Natural Resources
1975 The Value and Vulnerability of Coastal Resources.
Atlanta: Resource Planning Section, Office of
Planning and Research, Georgia Department of
Hoyt, John H. and John R. Hails
1967 Pleistocene Shoreline Sediments in Coastal Georgia:
Deposition and Modification. Science 155:1541-1543.
Johnson, A. S., H. O. Hillestad, S. F. Shanholtzer and G.
1974 An Ecological Survey of the Coastal Region of
Georgia. National Park Service Scientific Monograph
Series No. 3. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Gov't Printing
Mueller, James W.
1974 The Use of Sampling in Archaeological Survey.
Society for American Archaeology, Memoir No. 28.
Pearson, Charles E.
1977 Analysis of Late Prehistoric Settlement on Ossabaw
Island, Georgia. University of Georgia Laboratory
of Archaeology Series No. 12, Athens.
Sears, William H.
1956 Settlement Patterns in Eastern United States. In
Prehistoric Settlement Patterns in the New World,
edited by Gordon R. Willey, pp. 45-51. Viking Fund
Publications in Anthropology No. 23, New York.
BARRIER ISLAND SETTLEMENT
1961 The Study of Social and Religious Systems in North
American Archaeology. Current Anthropology 2:
Craig T., Jr.
An Archaeological Survey of Colonel's Island, Glynn
County, Georgia. Unpublished report on file in the
Office of the Georgia State Archaeologist.
Simpkins, Daniel L. and Alan E. McMichael
1976 Sapelo Island: A Preliminary Report. Southeastern
Archaeological Conference Bulletin No. 19, pp. 95-99.
The Determinants of Settlement Patterns. In Settlement
Archaeology, edited by K. C. Chang, pp. 53-78.
Palo Alto: National Press.
Wilkes, R. L., J. H. Johnson, H. T. Stoner, and D. D. Bacon
1974 Soil Survey of Bryan and Chatham Counties, Georgia.
Washington, D.C.: U.S. Gov't Printing Office.
HOODOO: THE INDIGENOUS MEDICINE AND PSYCHIATRY
OF THE BLACK AMERICAN
Ralph R. Kuna
In the growing volume of literature on transcultural
psychiatric studies of indigenous healers, the "Hoodoo doctor"
has been too long overlooked. The minimal amount of material
about this type of folk healer reveals a failure to discrimi-
nate Hoodoo from other cultural systems of healing (Cappannari
et al. 1975; Hall & Bourne 1973; Michaelson 1972; Rocereto
1973; Saphir et al. 1967; Snell 1967; Snow 1974; Tinling 1967;
Wintrob 1973). The indigenous "Hoodoo doctor" should not be
confused with the Voodoo priest-doctor. The former, a product
of Black American culture, is quite common (Haskins 1974;
Herskovitz 1941; Hurston 1931; Hyatt 1935, 1970, 1973, 1975;
Nott 1922; Puckett 1926), whereas the latter is rarely, if ever,
found in the United States. In fact, the Hoodoo doctor is often
shunned by the few Voodoo societies in the United States
The present paper will attempt--with limited data--to
adumbrate the actual distinction between Hoodoo doctors and
other indigenous healers and to clarify the healing aspects
of the American Blacks' Hoodoo doctor in relation to the inter-
action of situational and psychological factors in the Black
Hoodoo as a Form of Folk Medicine and Psychotherapy
Hoodoo, as a system of native Black American folk psycho-
therapy and psychiatry, was defined by Hyatt (1935:24) as "a
complex belief and practice involving almost every aspect of
life. witchcraft or Hoodoo is a magic rite--whether acted
out according to a formula or merely intended or wished--
against someone's welfare." The core of this system, according
to Hyatt (1935:361), is "to catch a spirit, or to protect
your spirit against the catching, or to release your caught
spirit; this is the complete theory and practice of Hoodoo."
Moreover, Hoodoo is flexible, amorphous, and constantly
changing to suit changing times, conditions, and personalities.
A person can "lay" or "plant a root" for another--to
"catch the spirit of another." The victim, however, is not
entirely helpless. He can, with the proper guidance and help
from a "root worker" or "root doctor," turn the spell or
"trick" against the person initiating it. Once the Hoodoo
doctor has performed this highly respected act, the "homing"
The Florida Anthropologist, vol. 30, no. 4, December 1977
principle returns the spell infallibly to the initiator.
For guidance in such cases, one goes to a specialist who has
made a study of these matters--the Hoodoo doctor.
Hoodoo doctors may be white--not necessarily Cajun--and
Catholic (see Hurston 1931) or a member of any Christian
denomination. They are, however, predominantly male. One
may become a Hoodoo doctor in any one of three ways: (1) by
being born with the gift, (2) by receiving the "call," or
(3) by learning the profession from another, or serving an
Hoodoo doctors have rather well-defined professional
duties. These include (1) diagnosis, (2) finding out who "laid
the trick," and (3) curing the patient by either destroying
the trick or administering "roots" or "herbs" from a Hoodoo
bag. There is no general agreement about which roots and herbs
should be used. Hurston (1931:411) states that "Anything may
be conjure, nothing may be conjure, according to the doctor,
the time and the use of the article."
Hoodoo doctors are often distinguished from "root doctors"
because the Hoodoo doctor's specialty is medicine. But some
Hoodoo activities, usually known as signs, are felt to have
little to do with the Hoodoo doctor. This accords with the
distinctions between practitioners of medicine (Hoodoo) and
those of magic (signs), where forms of sorcery may take place
(Puckett 1926:31; Herskovitz 1941:239; Cameron 1930:364).
Hoodoo doctors may also specialize and may have specialties
ranging from warding off death to bringing it about.
The Hoodoo doctor is usually a respected but feared
member of his community. He, like healers in the Euro-American
tradition, has both medical and social power. As Young (1976:
15-16) points out:
The power of healers diagnosticianss as well as
therapists) has two aspects, then. One is practical
and the other is social. The first refers to power
accumulated and controlled by the healer in order
to compete with pathogenic agencies, so that he can
produce a remission of symptoms (see Glick, 1967;
Jansen, 1973, pp. 139-140). This aspect can be
measured according to how powerful are the pathogenic
agencies that must be countered (that is, the
seriousness of the symptoms they produce and their
ability to resist therapies), and how common these
prophylactic, diagnostic, or therapeutic abilities are
in a particular society. The social aspect of power
refers to someone's ability to communicate and
and legitimize his choice of exculpating
circumstances. This aspect of power can be measured
according to the seriousness of the social conse-
quences of exculpation for the sick person and other
principles in the episode. The two aspects of power
are closely linked, since it is through diagnosis
and therapy that the choice of exculpating cir-
cumstances must be communicated and legitimized.
. It is by his choice of translators that the
sick person can exercise control over what sorts of
translations are possible, and what sorts of
audiences will be mobilized during the episode.
Hoodoo Versus West African and Haitian Voodoo
One of the basic differences between American Hoodoo and
Haitian Voodoo is that Hoodoo, although a system of belief and
therapy, is not a cult, nor does it engage in cult or group
activities or worship. Although both systems are concerned
with spirits, their mythological structure and content vary
enough culturally to have quite different processes of diagnosing
and treating disorders.
A comparison clarifies the distinction. If a Black
American is ailing and believes he has been "Hoodooed," he
visits a Hoodoo doctor "to turn the trick." The trick is a
spell in the form of a "spirit" that has been placed on some-
one by another. In finding out who initiated the trick and in
dealing with it, the Hoodoo doctor does not assume the role of
intermediary with a higher spiritual world. Rather, he deals
directly with "spirits" arising from and functioning in inter-
The cultural attitudes fostered by both Hoodoo and Voodoo,
however, nurture the phenomena of autosuggestion and conver-
sion. The Hoodoo doctor is autonomous and prescribes and
cures the individual patient. Voodoo, on the other hand, is
characterized by the following: (1) devotion to a deity or
deities; (2) ceremonial music and dancing, with specific
meaning accorded to particular spirits; (3) collectivized
tension, excitement, ritual, and possession behavior; (4) the
presence of the houngan, in his role as healer and inter-
mediary possessed by loa (spirits) and supported by group
possession; and (5) a sacrificial offering. None of these
occurrences are characteristic of Hoodoo. Voodoo, unlike
Hoodoo,is invariably group oriented. Also, in Voodoo,mamaloi
or priestesses abound, such as Marie Laveau, the Voodoo Queen
of New Orleans, as opposed to the Hoodoo doctor which is
almost always a man.
Hoodoo versus Jamaican Obeah and Brazilian Umbanda
In general, the features that distinguish Hoodoo from
Haitian Voodoo apply as well to other forms of West Indian
or South American "Voodoo" such as Jamaican Obeah and Brazilian
Umbanda. Both of these features are absent in American Hoodoo.
In Brazilian Umbanda, the person presiding over a meeting is
known as a "medium" who serves as a "horse" for the possessing
spirit, who is seen as "mounting" or entering the medium (Figge
A specific case may serve to highlight the differences
between Hoodoo and the various forms of West Indian and South
American Voodoo. In this case, recorded by Hyatt (1973),
the spirit is on a patient and he has gone to a Hoodoo doctor
to be cured. An indigenous diagnosis is made and treatment
prescribed with no religious or group overtones; that is, no
syncretic cult activities are to be found, nor is a consultation
with a higher spiritual world. The taped question-answer
session is presented as it was recorded (Hyatt 1973: Vol. 3,
Q: In taking off a spell and using the wood herbs,
do you use the same thing for all spells or do you
use different herbs for different spells?
A: Yo' use some in de--lak yo' use watah.
Q: How do you do that?
A: Don' let de watah hit de groun', ketch de watah
'fo' [before] it hit de groun'.
Q: Rain water?
A: Dat's right. Ketch it in de glass, pitchah,
ketch it above de groun'. Don' even let de watah
drop [drop] off de top of de house. Set it [con-
tainer] out one side upon a shelf an' de rain come
until it git full. If yo' ain't got it full, de'
[they] take an' po' out dat an' git it [water] til
yo' git it [container full]--de rain watah. An' take
it fo' a wash regardless of whut kinda spirit 'got on
yo'. In nine days time yo' will be all right. But
yo' gotta wash. Ketch about a half a gallon or a
gallon and' yo' don' throw de watah away aftar yo'
firs' wash. Yo' wash yo' face in dat. Yo' kin wash
yo' han' in any othah watah, but chew wash yo' face
an' haid in dat watah. Den po' dat [rain] watah in
anothah jah [jar] an' let dat stay. Tomorrah mawnin'
yo' git up, yo' do de same thing, yo' wash yo'
face an' hair [in the preserved rain water]. An'
de nex' day yo' wash in de nex' watah dat wus had
fer nine days. Den you'll put all dose watahs
tuhgethah, all in one, an' dey travels to de
Q: To the sundown what?
A: To de sundown side.
Q: Sundown side. Well, you said "way" didn't you?
A: Well, in de way dat da sun go down at--see, out
in de wes'. Yo' turn yo' back to de lef' at de lef'
cornah. Yo' turn yo' back to de lef' an' wave dis
bottle ovah yo' haid [demonstrates].
Q: You swing it around over your head.
A: Yes, an' let all de watah po' out. Dat yo' see.
Den yo' throw dis stuff by turning' dis bottle loose
[so that] de' [dey = they] all go out. Turn 'em
[loose, the nine waters] an' let 'em stay. An' day
[the patient] walk off from de house, say, "Go."
Tell 'em to take an' carry 'em wherevah day come from.
Den he go back where he come from. An' whosoevah
brought on de spell, it is off. Ah'll bet anything
or not dat it's off.
Q: Now, you take this rain water that you catch, a
half gallon or a gallon, and you wash in that nine
days. The same water?
A: Yes, de same watah.
Q: Nine days, and then you throw it to the west back
over your head; but you swing it around over your head
when you do that--in a glass jar or something.
A; Ovah yo- lef' shouldah.
Q: And you don't look back--walk away.
From this brief discussion, it appears that the Hoodoo
doctor remains crucial to the socio-cultural constructed
"symbolic reality" of the Black American. If this is recog-
nized, a comparative approach to medical healing in Hoodoo
could be revealing. As Kleinman (1973:133) points out:
A phenomenology of healing practices and a general
model of the healing relationship and process is
precisely what is required for a clearer and more
critical understanding of the systems of medical
care as well as for efforts aimed at restructuring
modern forms of medical care.
Symbolic reality neither denotes the realm of
actual events and biological processes nor the
personal subjectivity of the individual; rather, it
represents the mediating social and cultural world
of ideas, values, sentiments, meaningful symgolic
forms, social relations and the like; that is, the
sphere of socially legitimate human reality in which
most of us function and work. It is within a given
society's symbolic reality that medical systems exist
and function, as do all other cultural systems; thus
illness is shaped into human experience, and that
healing takes place. (Author's emphasis)
Hoodoo versus Other North American Methods of Folk Healing
The distinguishing characteristics of Hoodoo have been
generally overlooked by such researchers as Snow, who has
lumped Hoodoo and other forms of folk healing together. In
her article entitled "Folk Medical Beliefs and Their
Implications for Care of Patients" (1974), Snow--misled per-
haps by superficial similarities--included Hoodoo among folk
medical systems such as those of the Pennsylvania Dutch,
the Hutterites, the Amish, the Appalachian Whites, the Cajuns
of Louisiana, Kansas farmers, Puerto Ricans, and Mexicans
without making the necessary distinctions. Yet Hoodoo is
basically different from all these forms of folk medicine.
It is true that in most of the above-mentioned systems,
all indigenous to continental North American with the sole
exception of the Puerto Rican, the curing is not group oriented
or syncretic as in West Indian or South American Voodoo. But
differences do exist. Even though curing is done individually,
it usually has a religious orientation, usually Catholic in
the case of Puerto Ricans or Mexicans, usually some form of
Protestant fundamentalism in the case of the Hutterites, Amish,
and Pennsylvania Dutch. In all these groups, God is seen as
the ultimate healer.
The Pennyslvania Dutch "powwowers" regard the Bible as
particularly effective in curing a "hexed" patient. Further-
more, the Pennsylvania Dutch powwower has yet another
feature that distinguishes him or her from the Hoodoo doctor.
The powwower will frequently "draw" the disorder from the
patient's body into his own. The powwower, in effect, "takes
on" (absorbs) the illness of the patient (Guthrie 1966). This
is something no Hoodoo doctor would consider doing.
In the shamanistic cult activities of the American Indian,
deities and gods are invariable involved. The ceremonies are
usually group oriented, thus distinguishing this form of
indigenous medicine from Hoodoo. In addition, the collectivized
tension, ceremonial dancing, and trance-like state of the
participants in many American Indian medicinal activity make
this type of folk medicine more akin to Voodoo than Hoodoo.
Hoodoo also appears to have little in common with the
Pentecostal sects of both Haiti and the United States. Both
of these sects are, unlike Hoodoo, group, God, and possession
oriented. Possession in this case represents the phenomenon
of glossolalia or "speaking in tongues."
Attention should be paid to similarities, but inter-
and intracultural variations of symbolic realities in their
relationships to illness are of major concern if ethno-
psychiatry is to make a meaningful contribution.
The Clinical and Ethnopsychiatric Meaning of Hoodoo
There appear to be four continue in the cultural evolu-
tion of Hoodoo: (1) the development of Hoodoo itself through
a synthesis of Christian or Catholic beliefs and, sometimes,
Protestant fundamentalism; (2) the priestly cult and
collendrical healing ceremonies of Voodoo evolving into the
practices of the individually trained and independently
practicing Hoodoo doctor; (3) the evolution of Hoodoo prac-
tices from rural, provincial areas to urban, industrial cities,
predominantly in the North; (4) the evolution of behavior
disorders according to cultural patterns logically creating
the consequent movement from conversion and hysteriform dis-
orders, involving the voluntary neuromuscular or sensory-
perceptual systems, to the Euro-American psychosomatic form
of illnesses founded on disordered functioning of the autonomic
and vegetative bodily systems.
Continuum 4, it should be noted, can only be hypothesized
on the basis of general differences apparent between the urban
clinical (etic) cases of Tinling (1967), Wintrob (1973),
Cappannari et al. (1975), and the descriptive (emic) examples
of Hyatt's ethnographic observations (1935, 1965, 1970, 1975).
Hyatt's rural examples tend to resemble hysteriform disorders,
in contrast to the somatic preoccupations, delusional systems,
and psychosomatic illness of the urban cases.
A further point to be considered is the functioning of
autosuggestion and conversion involved in the trance-pos-
session syndromes of illiterate or primitive cultures. Here,
various symbols or scapegoats within the pressure parameters
of kin and family relations allow inadequacies and frustra-
tions to be projected in a culturally channeled manner--witch-
craft. This does not occur in modern cultural conditions,
where the schizophrenic with paranoid reaction in his idio-
syncratic belief system and notions of persecutions is to be
expected in the anomic conditions and economic arrangements
so typical of Euro-American culture. Hence, in differential
diagnosis, Hoodoo beliefs, particularly as they function in
cultural doctrines of belief in witchcraft, can hardly be seen
as atypical content of paranoid schizophrenic reaction.
The shift in Continuum 3 may be the causative basis for
the dysfunctionality of historic Hoodoo beliefs in Black
American culture. Such dysfunctioning cultural processes can
be considered pathogenic. Signs of this phenomenon have been
reported by Weiner (1969), who found that more than half of the
Blacks he interviewed believe their health has rapidly diminished
during the last three generations. Two-thirds of urban Black
Americans revealed to Brunswick and Josephen (1972) that they
"feel sick" and at least three-fourths of adolescent Harlem
Blacks expect "sickness" for the better part of their lives.
Finally, Comely (1968) tells us that the mortality and
morbidity rate between Whites and Blacks is continually
The effect of Continuum 3 on healing processes may also
be disastrous. While the problems of industrialized ex-
istence continue to place massive stress on traditional
Black culture, its rate of disintegration increases. Per-
sistent disregard of Black culture by the Anglo medical
establishment only intensifies the already high rates of mental
and physical disorder within the Black American culture. Caught
up in this process, the Hoodoo doctor, although enjoying a
culturally prestigious and advantaged role for curing, is
clearly unable to cure many of the psychosomatic illnesses.
However, not only the Hoodoo doctor is hampered in
treating illness. The clinical cases of Tinling, Snell,
Wintrob, and Cappannari clearly outline the problems involved
when allopathic medicine attempts to treat a Black who at-
tributes the origins of his disease to an etiology within a
culturally-constituted symbolic reality which is not under-
stood by the treating physician. The physicians found them-
selves unable to enter such realities. While the Hoodoo
doctor may be able to treat the psychological conditions, he
will inevitably fail with many of the somatic aspects. Since
the reverse is the reality for modern medicine, a "peaceful
coexistence," such as Wintrob recommends, must be sought..
Much has been written on the psychiatric effects of
urbanization on American Indians. Virtually nothing, however,
has been done on similar etiology for Black American
psychopathology. According to the principles of social
psychiatry, there should be little difference between the
function of the Native American Church and Black American
Hoodoo. That is, both function as a reaction to the cultural
conditions of existence, maintain social support-identity-
solidarity, and, finally and most importantly, are culturally-
sanctioned means of alleviating interpersonal stresses inherent
in any culture. Indeed Suttles (1971) has advanced the theory
that such activities are not only culturally functional and
integrative for Black American culture, but psychologically
healthy as well.
In every article of medical literature dealing with the
subject of Hoodoo, the physicians were in agreement on one
point: most of their patients arrived at both their dis-
order and final cure within their culturally-constituted
symbolic reality. "Often times," reported Kimball (1970),
"the modern medicine man finds it expedient to seek out the
services of a 'root-doctor'" who can exorcise the spell cast
over a patient. "Such a person has followed his or her people
north. At the University of Rochester, the author and his
colleagues had on a number of occasions to utilize the services
of root-work" (Kimball 1970:803). Kimball's patient, however,
did not return to the medical clinic, but probably sought the
services of a Hoodoo doctor. In such cases the symptoms are
non-specific. Often there is an organic explanation for the
sumptom--for example, tuberculosis of the bone; but the victim
will not accept legitimate medical interventions unless roots
are also worked. There are indications that because of
anxiety or other emotions induced via roots non-specific
physiologic alterations occur that may explain such phenomena
as sudden death, syncope, and pseudocyesis that are some-
times found in relation to roots.
Tinling (1967), of the University of Rochester, contends:
The burden is on the doctor to ask the appropriate
questions. .. "Do you mean that someone is working
roots on you?" or, "Could it be roots?" . The
physician must remember that the patient or his
family may see the root-doctor as the only person
who could help the patient. Depending upon the
circumstances, it may be wise for a physician to
allow the patient to seek such help. (Author's
Four of Dr. Tinling's seven patients received their final cure
after having seen a Hoodoo doctor. Cappannari's (1975)
patient who suffered from regional enteritis, emerged from
a hypnosis-like state induced by a fundamentalist Baptist
minister, who had Hoodoo affiliations, reading biblical pas-
sages concerning the casting out of demons. This apparently
dispelled the "hex" and cured the patient.
A question arises: whether modern medicine, including
psychiatry, can successfully collaborate with the practitioners
of Hoodoo. Hes has stated that the therapist in particular
is faced with the following decisions: (1) to fight shamanism
as unmedical and unscientific, (2) to find a compromise or
division of labor between the shaman and the occidental therapist,
or (3) to accept shamanism as such and abandon a considerable
number of patients to people who might overlook serious
diseases. Hes, like Tinling, urges a compromise, with one
qualification--that a prior search for somatic illness be made.
Snell (1967:313) reinforces the need to consider Hoodoo
beliefs in differential diagnosis:
If the physician fails to ask about hexing
beliefs or otherwise invite open discussion of
them, a serious potential obstacle exists to the
achievement of a therapeutic rapport. The patient
may feel that if the doctor does not know what is
really causing his symptoms he cannot possibly help
If indeed such a rapport can be obtained, Snell suggests,
"Using hypnosis can be an effective, ethical technique" (Snell
Weidman (1975) extends the ramifications of Hoodoo into
the boundaries of general medicine. Such beliefs, she notes,
have been found not only in psychiatric cases but in pedi-
atric and general cases. A recent well-documented instance
from Family Medicine of psychogenic death from such beliefs
provided a case in point.
Other cases have been reported, adding further proof of
psychosomatic effects. Noel (in Michaelson 1972:58) used
calcium gluconate in the treatment of his "hexed" patients
whose manifest disorders he described as "psychophysiologic
--not unlike colitis or gastric ulcers." One of Wintrob's
(1972) North American patients died of what he terms "hex
death;" another became asymptomatic and was discharged after
being treated by a "root-doctor." On the basis of this
clinical experience, Wintrob advised physicians that sensitivity
to culturally determined beliefs and practices of patients
whose ethnic and social class background differs from that
of the treatment personnel is crucial to accurate assess-
ment of those patients' illness, whether medical or psychological.
In evaluating, the doctor must take into account folk beliefs
and folk-medicine no less than interpersonal stresses and
intrapsychic factors. The lesson is clear: to ignore any of
these focuses is to invite clinical error.
Young (1976:6) states the transcultural problem as
The interests of sick people, curers and people who
worry that they may become sick are dominated by a
medical paradigm. This means that they frame their
questions and organize their behavior in order to
identify, remove, arrest, alleviate, or prevent the
disease symptoms that have intruded or threaten to
intrude into everyday life. In frief, their
interests focus on the efficacy of medical beliefs
and practices. Because a people's beliefs and
practices about prophylaxis, diagnosis and therapy
constitute the greatest part of any society's efforts
to understand and deal with sickness, they must be
the indispensable material prima of the anthropologist
who wants to study sickness.
Young maintains that going beyond the medical paradigm
of a particular people and using the Western or Euro-American
paradigm to evaluate all other medical systems is faulty
for two reasons: (1) analysts can only deal with their
medical matters in a fragmentary way, and (2) while this
paradigm can explain why people hold certain beliefs, it
cannot explain why other sorts of beliefs and practices
Young (1976:6) further maintains that an expansion of
the meaning of illness may be necessary:
How can the field of interest be defined without
the Western Paradigm? Although it is reasonable
enough to say that beliefs and behavior can be
defined as "medical" when they somehow refer to
sickness, if we leave the matter here we also
leave our assumptions implicit. The question
which should be asked is: What, precisely, does
"sickness" mean? The everyday definition of the word
will not do since it has evolved out of the practical
traditions of the Western healing arts and has taken
its form within the institutional framework of the
Western medical profession. What is needed is
a concept of sickness that is consistent with
the sorts of analytical concepts with which
anthropologists study other institutions or
ethnographic categories. It should be useful
for cross-cultural comparisons and it should deal
with facts that are examples of social behavior.
Conclusion and Research Recommendations
One can safely conclude that little is truthfully or
systematically known about the Hoodoo doctor and his healing
techniques and powers or of the overall belief system that
supports Hoodoo. This should not warrant continued disregard
for the abilities of Hoodoo doctors by physicians; on the
contrary, it should stimulate research possibilities. However,
such research would require of its participants a readiness
to examine their own culture (Murphy 1973). Murphy (1973:716)
A start is being made with the subject, particularly
by White Northern American therapists treating Negro
patients, but it is only a start. If transcultural
psychiatry could show how much the therapist's cultural
unconscious is affecting his perception of the patient
and his problems, and show also how to handle these
feelings, this might be the greatest contribution
which transcultural studies could make to general
psychiatry at this time.
Tinling suggests clinicians may now be able to observe
psycho-physiological changes in the hexed patient rather
than rely on poorly documented reports from remote areas.
At this point, it is true, there have been no sound ethno-
logical or ethnopsychiatric studies made which answer such
necessary informational needs as: the cultural conditions
under which Hoodoo exists and operates; objective analysis
of culturally-induced stress, emotional economy; culturally-
approved cathartic outlets for this stress and consequent
types and forms of disorders; intrafamilial-personal factors;
psychopharmacological aspects materiala medical aspects);
psychophysiological changes; theory of illness and statis-
tical data on the use, and timing, in the course of illness
when the Hoodoo doctor and/or M.D. is contacted. Information
of a purely ethnological nature has also not been widely
However, psychophysiological changes in the hexed
patient can be fully observed and documented by fieldworkers
despite claims to the contrary. In the continuing discussions
on the etiology of Voodoo death, Lex (1974) maintains that
revival of the question indicates that ethnographers either
lack knowledge of autonomic system functioning or disavow
the significance of the autonomic nervous system in human
behavior. However, she strongly contends that:
empirical testing of the explanation of death by
suggestion--the practitioner's manipulation of the
autonomic nervous system through the victim's
cognitive apprehensions of witchcraft--should neither
be difficult nor require sophisticated laboratory
apparatus. Pupillary constriction, easily observable
and indicative of parasympathetic activation, provides
one ready diagnostic for field workers; the amount
of saliva, of perspiration, degree of muscle tonicity
and skin pallor in an individual are also discernible
without complicated instruments (Lex 1974:822).
Transcultural psychiatry has already learned much from
American Indian therapists. To cite only a few examples,
Opler's (1973) "Ute Indian Dream Analysis," Jilek's (1974)
Salish Indian Mental Health and Culture Changes, and, perhaps
the most provocative, Johnson and Proskauer's (1974) study of
"Hysterical Psychosis in a Prepubescent Navajo Girl." This
eleven-year-old girl received treatment from both a shaman
and an Anglo psychiatrist working cooperatively. This latter
approach provides an ideal model; but the goal should not be
replacement of the indigenous therapist or his cooperation as
an "associate therapist" in the hospital setting, but rather
a peaceful coexistence. Such a condition has already been
reported by Bergman (1973) in his involvement in the establish-
ment and training program of a Navajo school for medicinemen.
It may soon be possible, given more such advances, to develop
similar programs for Hoodoo. In the end a successful integra-
tion of Black culture and modern medicine can be achieved.
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