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Title: Billy Bowlegs and the Seminole war
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 Material Information
Title: Billy Bowlegs and the Seminole war
Physical Description: 79 p. : plates, ports. ; 19 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Gifford, John C ( John Clayton ), 1870-1949
Publisher: Dewar's Limited Editions
Place of Publication: Coconut Nut Grove Fla
Publication Date: c1925
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Genre: individual biography   ( marcgt )
non-fiction   ( marcgt )
 Notes
Statement of Responsibility: with notes and comments by John C. Gifford.
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Bibliographic ID: UF00055635
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
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oclc - 07645763
notis - AAN9353

Table of Contents
    Title Page
        Page 3
    Copyright
        Page 4
    Dedication
        Page 5
        Page 6
    List of Illustrations
        Page 7
        Page 8
    Introduction
        Page 9
        Page 10
        Page 11
        Page 12
        Page 13
        Page 14
    Main
        Page 15
        Page 16
        Page 17
        Page 18
        Page 19
        Page 20
        Page 21
        Page 22
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        Page 24
        Page 25
        Page 26
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Full Text


BILLY


BOWLEGS


AND THE


SEMINOLE


WAR


With Notes and Commentr
By


JOHN


GIFFORD, D.


CEc.


THE


TRIANGLE COMPANY


COCONUT GROVE, FLORIDA
PUBLISHERS























Copyght, g195,
By
JOHN C. GIFFORD


Typsmetinag Plate, Paper, Printing Binding and Clot
By TxB KI xGsoar Puss
Kingport, Tenn.





















Respectfully Dedicated to the Memory of
CHIEF TIGER TAIL
who killed himselfrather than be deported
from the State of Florida













LIST


ILLUSTRATIONS


BILLY


BOWLEGS,


CHIEF


THE


SEMI-


NOLES


. .* . Frontispiece


YOUNG WIFE OF BILLY BOWLEGS


S. 2


BILLY BOWLEGS OF OKEECHOBEE CITY, GRAND-


SON OF THE FAMOUS CHIEF

NO-KusH-ADJO, INSPECTOR GENERAL


. 2


a 39


LONG


JACK, BILLY


BOWLEGS' LIEUTENANT


BEN BRUNO, NEGRO SLAVE AND FAVORITE, .

A SEMINOLE FAMILY CAMPING BY THE WAY-


SIDE.


v a # a 5


YOUNG INDIANS ON A HUNT


. . 5


NATIVE ROYAL PALMS ON PARADISE KEY.


INDIAN WOMAN POUNDING COMPTIE

A SCENE IN THE EVERGLADES .











INTRODUCTION

THE following relating to Billy Bowlegs, the
Seminole chief, is copied by permission from
Harper's Weekly for June 12, 1858. The com-
ments I have freely added with the hope that
they might be of general interest. The word chief
or chieftain is here used in the sense of the leader
of a clan or tribe. In some instances the social
organization of the Indians is rather complex. In
the case of the Seminole each group had its leader
with councilors, in some cases elected, in others
hereditary. The terms sachem, sagamore and
cazique are Indian terms for chief or leader which
have crept into our language. At the time of
the writing of the article in Harper's Billy Bow-
legs was evidently main chief of the bands of Semi-
nole Indians in Florida. This article throws some
interesting side lights on the Seminole wars which
were fought in Florida with much loss of life and
money. The military resources of the whole nation
were sorely taxed to down a comparatively small
number of Indians with few resources except their
wits and safe hiding places. They. were finally
bought off, which is in the end probably the cheap-
est and easiest way to settle disputes with peoples
of that nature, especially when they are more or
9





INTRODUCTION


less in the right. They
against aggression and
perfect right to their 1
slaves who had sought;


were defending themselves
probably thought they had
ands and especially to the
asylum in their midst. The


meaning of sovereignty is not very cear to primi-
tive peoples (and to some civilized peoples also),
especially to the Indian. He rarely dominated the
things around him. He was a part of Nature and
not its boss. In many instances he resented ex-
ploitation to such extent that he died in conse-
quence.


But
of his
animal
many
origin,
bacco,


he has
words,
s, are a
words
such a
tomato


left his marl
especially ti
part of ou
in constant
s mahogany,
Chocolate,


c in many ways. Some
&e names of plants and
r language. There are
use that are of Indian
persimmon, squash, to-
succotash, skunk, mink,


opossum,
manatee,
thought
speak of
hatchet
The Indi
the Fren
a


ot
thi

On


cotton
rns lo


moccasin, canoe, cougar, sc
hammock, maize, etc., etc.
very often 'without realizing i
Smoking the pipe of peace, 1
or going for another fellow's
an word tomahawk is almost as
ch word hatchet. They discover
i, rubber, tobacco and many c
nf before the white man lande


lany of our place names are
one short railroad in Florida
10


of In
it is


upper-nong,
e use their
it when we
burying the
scalp, etc.
common as
:red the use
either useful
d.
dian origin.
amusing to





INTRODUCTION


hear the trainmen call:


ota, Pocat
Holopaw, I
haw, Hilol
Several
fought in t
then in use


Osceola, Kolokee, Chulu-


aw, Wewahotee, Salofka, Tohopkee,
rllahaw, Nittaw, Apoxsee, Lokosee, Yee-
o, Efaw, Osowaw and Okeechobee.
places are named for the generals who
hese wars, and the names of the forts
still hold. And, besides, the blood of


the Indian flows in the veins of many Americans
to far greater extent than most of us realize.
Coconut Grove, February, 1925.

JOHN C. GIFFORD.





















































4









































































v




V


























































I



































I I

















BILLY BOWLEGS, CHIEF OF THE SEMINOLES.-FromN a Photo-
graph by CLARK, of NEIV ORLEANS.--Frontispiccc.









BILLY BOWLEGS

AND THE SEMINOLE WAR
"BILLY BOWLEGS IN NEW ORLEANS.
"NEW ORLEANs, May, 1858.
"T~ILLY BOWLEGS, the King of the Ever-
Sglades, has been with us. For a week he
was our Lion-in-Chief. He has left us, and we
now have leisure to think and talk of the crevasse,
the British outrages, the cotton crop, filibustering,
and other matters of secondary interest. When
the news reached us, a fortnight ago, that Billy was
actually taken, and, on the way to his new home
in Arkansas, would honor our city with a brief
visit, I felt that it was my duty to "take" him in
another way, so that his royal features might be
handed down to posterity in the pages of Harper's
Weekly. I little knew the difficulty of the task I
had undertaken; but having attempted it, I re-
solved to succeed, cost what it might.
"Our admirable photographer, Clark, placed the
whole of his apparatus, together with the capital
operator, Carden, at my disposal for this purpose.
The kettle thus prepared, and the fire kindled,
I set myself at work to catch my fish. In due
time King Billy made his appearance. I took pos-
session of him the moment he arrived, and never
left him till I saw him on board the steamer
15





BILLY BOWLEGS


Quapaw, en route for the Arkansas reservation.
Brother never stuck to brother, creditor to debtor,
limpet to rock, or office-seeker to a new President,
as I did to Billy. It was a hard week's work; but
perseverance conquers all things, and I send you-
with my little bill annexed-the result of my
efforts, m the shape of the portraits of his Majesty
of the Everglades, his two brothers-in-law, his
young wife, and last, but not least, his 'guide,
philosopher, and friend,' the negro slave Ben
Bruno."
The name of the steamer Quapaw that carried
them up the Mississippi River on their way to
Indian Territory, now Oklahoma, where their de-
scendants still live, is the name of another famous
tribe that lived long ago in the Mississippi Valley,


but are
Like the
and in
exceeded
Billy ]
legs. A
a*


now on the Quap
Seminole they hav
1900, including al
three hundred.
Bowlegs' name has


according to some a
- A.1 I IUf l 1 1 f1


aw Indian Reservation.
e gradually faded away,
I1 mixed-bloods, hardly

nothing to do with his


authorities it is


"t


rupuon or tne worna -oletO or D-
negro slaves helped them corrupt
The very word "Yankee" was an
part of the Northern Indian to
lish. The negro corrupts a word
that is easy and with which he is
Wilgus into wildgoose, avocado
pear, gato into gator, etc. India
often bowlegged. Some attribute


owleck."


a cor-
Their


English words.
attempt on the
pronounce Eng-
into something
Familiar, such as
into alligator
ns are however
it to carrying


I
I





BILLY BOWLEGS


heavy loads while young, others
among the women of carrying their


to the custom
children astride


the hip, others to constant horseback riding. I
am of the opinion, however, that it is more likely
due to a rachitic condition from poor food and
insanitary conditions.
"Billy Bowlegs-his Indian name is HALPATTER-
Micco-is a rather good-looking Indian of about
fifty years. He has a fine forehead, a keen black
eye; is somewhat above the medium height, and
weighs about 160 pounds. His name of 'Bowlegs'
is a family appellation, and does not imply any
parenthetical curvature of his lower limbs. When
he is sober, which, I am sorry to say, is by no
means his normal state, his legs are as straight
as yours or mine. He has two wives, one son, five
daughters, fifty slaves, and a hundred thousand


dollars in
tume; the
is not a ii
dents Van


hard
two me
ttle prc
Buren


"No-kush-adjo,
brother of his 'ol
asyou would care
Indian garb with
Greek statue, and
head, stalked alo
seemed to imply
by condescending


cash. He wears his native cos-
dals upon his breast, of which he
,ud, bear the likenesses of Presi-
and Fillmore.
his Inspector General, and the
d wife,' is as fine a young fellow
to see. He wears his picturesque
the grace of the drapery of a
, with his silver circlet around his
ng our streets with an air that
that he honored the pale-faces
to walk through their brick-and-


mortar city.
"Long Jack, Billy's Lieutenant, and
of his young wife, is much less preposse
unflattering photograph gives a perfect
17


the brother
ssing. The
representa-




BILLY BOWLEGS


tion of his figure, features, and dress, even to the
night-gown of gaudy calico, in which he evidently
flattered himself that he was making a decided
sensation. He is a perfect representative of those
lazy, lounging savages who are sometimes seen in
our villages, ready to shoot at a mark for the sake
of a drink.
"Billy's young wife, who has no name, as far
as I could learn, is a quiet, modest squaw, though
her features bear a striking resemblance to those
of her rakish brother, Long Jack. I was very
desirous of adding to my collection the portraits
of Billy's 'old wife' and her daughters, especially
that of the elder, the 'Lady Elizabeth Bowlegs,'
a good-looking lass of eighteen. But they 'kept
themselves to themselves,' and very stoutly refused
to have anything to do with me or anybody else."
The primitive peoples of the world are not so
healthy as many think. The death rate is often
high and many tribes have died out entirely, others
are barely holding their own, and very few even
in the wild state are on the increase. This was
happening long before the white man appeared on
the scene. Shortage of food often limited popula-
tion among the Indians. They moved from place to
place in search of new hunting grounds. Those
agriculturally inclined did not always have bounti-
ful crops, and besides there were frequent wars in
which crops were destroyed or stolen. Their tools
were few and very primitive and their struggles
to live were hard and constant. Like the animals
of the woods they had days of feasting and fast-
18





BILLY BOWLEGS


ing, and the process of preserving food against
depredation and decay was very difficult. Only
the very strongest survived. No wonder they are
silent and taciturn.
"Ben Bruno, the interpreter, adviser, confidant,
and special favorite of King Billy, is a fine,
intelligent-looking negro. Unlike his master, he
shows a decided predilection for civilized life, and
an early visit to a ready-made clothing establish-
ment speedily transformed him into a very credit-
able imitation of a 'white man's nigger.' He has
more brains than Billy and all his tribe, and exer-
cises almost unbounded influence over his master.
The negro slaves are, in fact, the masters of their
red owners, who seem fully conscious of their own


mental inferiority. If a Seminole wishes to con-
vey a high idea of his own cunning, he will say,
'Ah, you no cheat me. I got real nigger wit.'
The negroes were the master spirits, as well as
the immediate occasion, of the Florida war. They
openly refused to follow their masters if they re-
moved to Arkansas; and it was not till they capitu-
lated that the Seminoles thought of emigrating.
The friendship of a man who has a hundred
thousand dollars in cash, and two marriageable
daughters, is worth cultivating. I would advise
any one who wishes to get into the good graces of
Billy Bowlegs to pay special attention to Ben Bruno.
"Billy Bowlegs is a direct descendant of the
founder of the Seminole nation. A little more than
a century ago, a noted Creek chief, named Secoffee,
broke away from his tribe, and, with many fol-
lowers, settled in the central part of the peninsula
of Florida. They were followed by other bands,
19





BILLY BOWLEGS


and all received the name of Seminoles, or 'Run-
aways.' The Mickasukies, the legitimate owners
of the country, at first opposed these emigrations,
but they were too feeble to make any effectual
resistance. In a short time all the Indians amal-
gamated, and joined in efforts to resist the white
men-the common foe of all.
"Secoffee was a bitter enemy of the Spaniards,
and a firm ally of the English. When Florida was
re-ceded to the Spaniards, in 1784, he took the
field against them. He died the next year, at the
age of seventy, and was buried near the site of
the present Fort King. When he felt that his
end was near, he called his two sons, Payne and
Bowlegs, and exhorted them to carry out his plans.
The Great Spirit, he said, had revealed to him
that, if he would be happy in a future state, he
must cause the death of a hundred Spaniards.
Fourteen of this number were still wanting; and he
adjured his sons to make up the deficiency."
Although Billy Bowlegs only had two wives, an
old one and a young one (not unlike many white


men of to-day),
statement the wri
fluence of the ne
statements of oth
Western Indians.
and adaptable.
I have seen Hind


I


e I
iter


gro
lers.
T
He
008,


ad fifty negro slaves, and
makes in reference to the
on the Indian bears out
I have seen it myself v
'he negro is more aggresi
is harmier even in bond


Indians and


negroes world


the
in-
the
ith
sive
ige.
ing


together. The Hindoos excelled at hoeing, the
Indians at picking berries and the negroes at cut-
ting the bush. The negroes would chatter and
20


!


A


1


W






















































YOUNG


WIFE OF BILLY


BOWLEGS.













































"**


"W.4:1
















'I,


BILLY BOWLEGS OF OKEECHOBEE CITY, GRANDSON OF THE
FAMOUS CHIEF.


|





BILLY BOWLEGS


sing but the Hindoos and American Indians were
silent. A remarkable statement in this article is
that the negroes openly refused to accompany their
masters to Arkansas. This was one big factor in
the prolongation of the war. It was the slavery
question that had much to do with the trouble at
the start. When the slaves ran away and joined
the Indians and the Indians refused to surrender
these slaves, it is easy to see how trouble was
inevitable. Although the Indian technically owned


the negro, the ne
quired from livir
superior and boss
dian became depe
his knowledge o


gro because of the knowledge ac-
ig with the white man was his
s. It is easy to see how the In-
ndent upon the negro because of
f the white man and the white


man's ways. I remember
while in Yucatan how certa
South Coast captured white
years for the sole purpose
man's tricks. They would
other tribes for the same
Navajos would kill the men
the women and force them t
which the Navajos are fai
about the only tribe that is


being told years ago
in Indian tribes on the


men and h
of learnir
capture p
reason.
of the Pue


eld them for
ig the white
ersons from
The roving
blos, capture


o make the blankets for


nous.
self


creasing in population, mainly d
business. The Navajo woman
sticks manufactures a blanket
cloth of wonderful design and r
23


The Navajo is
supportive and in-
lue to the blanket
with a frame of
or rug or saddle
ich coloring. No




BILLY BOWLEGS


two are exactly alike. She puts her soul and
thoughts into it. If bought direct from the Indians
the price is right. In other parts of the U. S. A.
there are factories with spindles and looms and
no end of machinery producing blankets wholesale.
Somewhere else there is a factory making machin-
ery for the blanket factory and somewhere a


factory making machine]
makes the machinery for
so on back to the mines


.y for the fa
the blanket f;
where men a


ctory that
factory and
re digging


out metal and fuel to run these factories. This con-
gestion of population produces insanitary conditions
and all kinds of social difficulties. This neces-
sitates big stores and big banks and big business in
general which the Indian fails to comprehend.
Some of the alligator hides the Seminole collects
go to Japan, where they are tanned and made into
souvenirs to be sold in Florida, and the Seminole
with some of the money buys a cheap blanket made
in Germany out of cotton grown in Georgia.
It is not strange that the Indian does not com-


prehend what is happening around him. The
man in the midst of it does not understand it


self.
vided
the fr
he is
cares


He watches his hunting grounds bein
into lots and sold to green homeseekers
ozen north. In his quaint and colorful


used for advertising purposes.
if he is well paid and well fed.


white
him-
g di-
from
dress


Little he
Little he


knows and cares of surveys, deeds, mortgages and
24





BILLY BOWLEGS


title
He
but
the
He
kno


s. His senses are keen and his memory good.
seldom bothers to thank you for a good turn
he never forgets it. His mind is stored with
countless details of everything around him.
knows his habitat far better than the white man
ws his. He seldom rets lost even in Dlaces


S


a


where he has never been.
It is said that social virtue held a high place with
the Seminole and that banishment was the punish-
ment for the breaking of this law, and that Billy
Bowlegs himself was condemned to wander apart
from his tribe for some time for some misdemeanor
of this kind. It is, however, likely that the law was
often broken and that the offenders were not always
punished.
"In 1821 Florida was ceded to the United States.
Emigrants began to pour in who demanded poses-
sion of the lands. The Indians were estimated at
about four thousand, men, women, and children,
with eight hundred negro slaves. Their villages
were scattered from St. Augustine to the Appalach-
icola River. They consisted of log-huts, sur-
rounded by cleared fields. It was vain for them
to urge their claim to the country. Our Govern-
ment recognized no such tite in the Indians. In
1823 they were compelled to enter into a treaty
making over to the whites the greater part of their
lands, and restricting themselves within narrow
bounds formally laid down.
"Still the white settlers pressed upon the Indians.
A thousand pretexts for quarrels arose. Slaves
ran away and joined the Indians, who refused to
25


L


|




BILLY BOWLEGS
surrender them. The property of the whites was
plundered, reprisals were made, and a border war
seemed imminent, which must involve the extermi-
nation of the Indians. In 1832 Mr. Cass, then
Secretary of War, directed Colonel Gadsden to
negotiate with the Florida Indians for a total relin-
quishment of their lands in exchange for others
west of the Mississippi River. With much dif-
ficulty Mr. Gadsden succeeded in inducing some of
the Seminole chiefs to sign a treaty empowering a
delegation to visit the country proposed to be al-
lotted to them, and in case they were satisfied with
it, the nation should cede all their Florida lands,
and remove west of the Mississippi. This was the
famous 'Treaty of Payne's Landing,' made on the
9th of may, 1832. The delegation visited the coun-
try, made their marks to a paper expressing
themselves satisfied with it, and agreed that their
nation should commence their removal as soon as
satisfactory arrangements could be made. In this
treaty the name of Halpatter-Micco appears for the
first time in history. He was then a young man,
a sub-chief of the band of Arpiucki, or 'Sam Jones.'
It is noticeable that the names of the leading Semi-
nole chiefs, especially that of Micanopy, the recog-
nized head of the nation, were wanting in this
treaty."
According to this statement the Seminole lived in
log-huts. This is so since others have men-
tioned it. In those days they planted orange
trees, grew rice, bananas, a kind of taro or
dasheen, as well as beans, corn, and pumpkins.
In their habits of living they have apparently
26





BILLY BOWLEGS


not progressed,
the white man's
To-day they live
and thatched wit
move about, and
of the time, the
in wet weather.
camp on your po


and aside
bounty,
in open
h palmetto


they a
y use
With
rch or


from those
are not so
sheds made


leave


appear to be
very little
your permits
in any old


living on
well off.
of poles
hen they


moving much
shelter except
ssion they will
shed or make


themselves at home
sign. In wet weather
In many instances I
from the effects of
gether with a lack c
diseases accounts fc
numbers. Their fa
Although they do nc
they are not unlike
doing the things t
and are considered


does
make
dians
cunni
poor


in the shelter of an advertising
r their condition is often pitiful.
have seen the children suffering
cold and exposure. This to-
)f immunity to the white-man's
ir the lack of increase in their
imilies are usually very small.


t like work (and in this r


other
hat you
dirty b


p

y


not apply to all, and
baskets or blankets or
they are never-the-lesI


n


esl


eople-work is re
do not want to
some, which how
although they do
pottery like other
s far superior to


pect
ally
do)
ever
not
In-
the


g thieving gypsy or even some of our own
"white-trash." In short all Indian blood


throughout the United States and Mexico is really
worth saving. Although he lacks many things he
has things in his make-up which we have not. My
observations have led me to believe that Indian
blood adds vitality to both the white and black
27


W




BILLY BOWLEGS


races. As Hewitt
and Archaology"
psychologist lives


quotient."
Southwest
evils with


A car
might
which


says
on
who
eful
give
our


in a splendid article in "Art
the "Pueblo Indians," "no
can obtain his intelligence


study of the Indian of
us some hints to cure
civilization is afflicted.


the
the
In


lesser degree we might even learn something from
the lowly Seminole. To do it one would have
to dig for it because he volunteers little and when
he does he is usually guided by the desire to please
you regardless of accuracy.
As Hewitt says of the Pueblo Indian, "In his own
Southwest he is a harmonious element in a landscape


that is incompar
mass and feeling
dominates it, as d


able in its nobility of color and
of the Unchangeable. He never
oes the European his environment,


but belongs there as do the mesas, skies, sunshine,
spaces, and the other living creatures. He takes
his part in it with the clouds, winds, rocks, plants,
birds and beasts, with drum beat and chant and
symbolic gesture, keeping time with the seasons,
moving in orderly procession with nature, holding


to the unity of life in all things, seeking
place for himself but merely a state of ha
all created things--the most rhythmic
as I know, that is lived among the race
"Living in a state of harmony with
things" is a philosophy that the white
follow with profit. The above applies t


no superior
rmony with
life, so far
8s of men."
all created
man could
:o the Semi-


28


8




BILLY BOWLEGS


nole only perhaps in lesser degree because his
culture is lower than that of the Indians of the
Pueblos but away from the open glades and prairies
of Florida of which he seems a vital part he acts
lost, in fact is lost and will be in time overwhelnied
by the preponderance of the whites around him.
Although there are no mountains of sand and rock,
there are mountains of clouds; instead of the desert
sands there are green glades and prairies dotted


with glistening lakes and
there in the broad expan
or pine; the cranes, herons
where but the picture will
Seminole with his little fa
quits it forever. Florida is


water courses; here and
se are islands of cypress
and other birds are every-


a vital
r in his
all mud


has broad, dry, treeless prairies and


covered and lake dott
eyes of any globe trc
ocean shore besides it
moss-decked swamps.
swamps of the south a
royal palm, the most


ed sand hills; a
hitter, and rocky


part when the
dug-out canoe
and sand. She
miles of pine
feast for the
bluffs on the


:s miles of muddy glades and
And there too hid away in the
re two or three patches of the
majestic of trees, the last of


their kind in the U. S. A., passing on like the Semi-
nole into the realm of the past. And there too is
the mahogany, the prince of all hardwoods, destined
like the flamingo, the parakeet and ibis and many
other choice products of nature to pass on with the
Seminole. All these and lots of other things
that formed the Florida of yesterday must no doubt
29




BILLY BOWLEGS
in time fall before the juggernaut of modern prog-
ress. We try hard to preserve the old furniture
that our ancestors sat and slept in but neglect the
things that can never be replaced or even imitated.
"The Seminoles refused to sanction this proceed-
ing of a few of their chiefs. The delegation them-
selves denied their own act, and declared that they
had not signed any paper which required them to
relinquish their lands or remove from Florida.
They were assured that they would nevertheless
be forced to carry out the treaty. Micanopy, old
and inert, was little more than a tool in the hands
of the bold and crafty half-breed, Oseola, who,
though not a chief himself, exerted a controlling in-
fluence. The Indians resolved to negotiate, gain
time to place their wives and children in safety,
secure their crops, and lay in ammunition, but in
no case to leave the country. They showed them-
selves adepts in the arts of diplomacy, and suc-
ceeded in putting off any decided action till the
spring of 1835. A council was then held, Osceola
and eight others agreed to abide by the treaty, and
the opening of the next year was fixed upon as the
time when the removal should commence. Mican-
opy, Sam Jones, and three other leading chiefs, re-
fused to agree to this. General Thompson, the
Indian agent, therefore struck their names of from
the roll of chiefs, declaring them to be no longer
counselors of the nation.
"Nothing was farther from the intention of
Oseola than to fulfill his agreement to emigrate.
He wished to gain time, and above all things, by
a display of friendship, to procure arms, powder,
and lead. Thompson refused to sell these.
30




BILLY BOWLEGS


Oseola, for a moment forgetting himself, broke
out into fierce passion. 'Am I a negro,' he said;
'a slave? I am an Indian. The white man shall
not make me black. I will make the white man
red with blood, and then blacken him in the sun
and rain, where the wolf shall smell his bones and
the vulture live upon his flesh.' He abused the
agent, defied the power of the Government, and
was put into irons. A week's confinement gave
him time to recollect himself. He professed peni-
tence, and promised to comply with the treaty. All
difficulties were now supposed to be ended; the
opening of the year 1836 was looked upon as the
time when Florjda was to be freed from the In-
dians, and crowds of emigrants stood ready to rush
in upon the vacant lands.
"But as summer and autumn wore on abundant
proofs appeared that the Indians had no intention
of leaving. It afterward appeared that they had
solemnly resolved that any one who prepared to
remove should die. Charley-e-Mathla, a leading
chief, had begun to dispose of his cattle. He was
waylaid and shot down. In his handkerchief was a
sum of money, which he had received for his cattle.
Oseola would not suffer it to be touched. 'It is
the blood of the red men,' he said, as he flung it


away.
There is


boss. Ben
name for
these name
in those d:
and horses.


no doubt that Ben Bruno the negro was
Bruno, by the way, would be a fine
i negro subdivision. We can preserve
s if nothing more. It is evident that
ays these Indians had herds of cattle
This lasted no doubt as long as they
31




BILLY BOWLEGS


had slaves to do the work.
Okeechobee have horses 1
in a while you will see a s
not often. It is remarks
knew how to draw the pii
his name. He wore on his
ing the likenesses of Pre
Fillmore. This was done
because he liked the looks
because he had any special
gentlemen. He also wor
in his ears.
The relation of the Ind
those days is a matter ol
Indian has apparently no a
direction. He seems to tr
with more or less indiffe
likely that the Seminole is


realize. In
original Indi
white blood
in speaking
Indian women
a half-breed
pretty. She
brown coml
would have


addition to


A few Indians around
but not many and once
iquaw riding astride but
Bible that Billy Bowlegs
cturc of a gun and sign
breast two medals bear-
sidents Van Buren and
no doubt for effect or
of the medals and not
love for either of these
e finger rings and rings


ian toward the negro in
f interest. The present
affection or dislike in that
eat both black and white
rence. It is more than
far more mixed than we
certain admixture of ab-


an and Negro there was no doubt some
both Spanish and English. Canova
of some captives says: Among the
tn "was a girl about ten years of age-
of Spanish and Seminole-was really
had an intelligent appearance, an olive
lexion and long chestnut hair, that
been the pride and glory of many an


English girl. She was hardly less wild and un-
tutored than the herons and egrets that, like her,
32





BILLY BOWLEGS


claimed the islands and marshes
further says that he always en
the squaws were uncleanly but


when he saw them
the water many tim
livered to the Indian
women wept bitterly
they failed to meet


souse their
es. These
agent at Fo
and were
their men,"


for a home." He
tertained the idea
changed his mind
pickaninnies into
captives were de-
rt Myers and "the
inconsolable when
This must have


been "fine business" for high-class Christian civ-
ilized soldiers.
In fact all peoples (including ourselves) are more
mixed than we realize. It means very little to
divide the world into yellow, black, red and white.
It means as little as does color in roses and chickens.
Skull measurements alone mean much. The Indian
anatomically stands between the white and black.
The world is mixing more and more and in time
one race may develop. It is not only happening
in big melting pots like New York and Honolulu but
in remote sections as well. Gann in his book on the
Maya Indians of Yucatan (and the Mayas are a su-
perior Indian type) says "that all degrees of racial
mixture are to be found between Indian women
and European, East Indian, Chinese, and Negro
men, who again intermarrying produce a bewilder-
ing racial kaleidoscope." The preponderating race
gradually absorbs others of all kinds and colors and
pure Indian blood is rare except in isolated places.
Before the Seminoles came south there were other
33





BILLY BOWLEGS


Indians here and although many were moved by the
Spaniards to Cuba and Mexico some no doubt re-


mained and joined tl
of mixed Negroes ai
There is a Dad
Bushnell. It is said
with his own hanc
of cattle and horse
but was indolent,
a leader. A tribe
lived in this neighbor
ferred to as "a rude
linguistic affinity, o
within the present
in the 16th Cenury
ject to the Calusa,
The Calusa was an
vated the soil to a
fishers, seamen and
their villages, also


he Seminoles. There is a colony
nd Seminoles in Texas.
e Memorial State Park near
that chief Micanopy shot Dade


1.
s
sel
of


He possessed large herds
and a hundred negro slaves
f-indulgent and impotent as
Indians called the Tequesta


I--i


Pt


rnooa years ago.
Sand piratical tribe
occupying the S.E.
Dade and Monro
.They were more
their neighbors on


impo
limited
fight
Muspa


word "Muspa" as a toy
looked in Florida. Almo
names that are pronounce
or not have been freely u
is gone the names survive
is common in several co
pirates and wreckers like


hey are re-
of unknown
Fla. Coast
e Counties
or less sub-
the west."


irtant tribe. They culti-
d extent and were good
rs. Tampa was one of
i. So far as I know the
n name has been over-
st all other Indian town


able w
sed.
;in fa
mbina
many


hethe
Altho
ct the
tions.


r appropriate
ugh the tribe
word Calusa
They were


of the whites who


succeeded them. It is said that something like
eighty families of this tribe were moved to Cuba
34


P


I




BILLY BOWLEGS


or Mexico


Spaniarids


when


Florida


transferred to England. It is more than likely
that some remained and mixed with the Seminoles
when they moved South. There was apparently
a group of Indians called the Miccosukie who up
to the time of the Seminole war lived apart from


other tribes, plund
generally disliked
I know the locati
one of our college
West to get the ed
it was too much fi
and homesickness.
a terrible disease.
as bullets. It is n
been reared in an i
of relatives and f
home altogether, bi
one is a part. F


ered their neighbors and were
and feared by other Indians.
on of the grave of an Indian in


towns.


He came from the Far


ucation of the white man. But
r him. He died of loneliness
Nostalgia or homesickness is
It has killed as many soldiers
nost severe in those who have
isolated place with a close circle
friends. It is not a desire for


it for the environment
ear, dread, ignorance


picion of the white man entered into it.
the hut he lived in could be built in a
Indian had it, as is strongly evidenced bi


and words of both T
The thing that makes n
and this was applied w
"Late in December
action; yet so cunning
no one suspected an
companies, under Majc


- -


of wl
and
Altho
day,
rthe


'iger Tail and Coacoochee.
ostalgia bitter is compulsion,
without stint to the Indian.
the Indians were ready for
y were their plans laid that
immediate outbreak. Two
r Dade, had been dispatched
35


was


r


r




BILLY BOWLEGS
from Fort Brooke tq reinforce the garrison at
Fort King.
"The Indians resolved to capture Fort King
before their arrival, and then turn upon these rein-
forcements. Oseola had not forgotten his im-
prisonment by General Thompson. 'He is my
friend,' said he, significantly; 'I'll take care of
him.' For two days he lay, with sixty warriors,
hidden among the palmettoes, in full view of the
fort, yet no one suspected their presence. On the
afternoon of the 28th of December, General
Thompson and Lieutenant Smith walked out from
the fort, quietly smoking their cigars. They ap-
proached the ambush, and were fired upon.
Thompson fell dead, pierced with four-and-twenty
bullets; Smith received thirteen. Their scalps were
stripped off and divided into minute pieces that each
warrior might have a part. Oseola had taken ven-
geance for the indignity which he had suffered.
Meanwhile the main body of the savages had been
dogging Dade, who was on his march to the fort.
Twice had they postponed their attack to await
the return of Oseola, who was watching for his
'friend' Thompson. At last they determined to
act without him. Before daybreak on the morning
of the 28th, 180 warriors were posted on the road
by which the troops would soon advance. Every
Indian was concealed behind a tree, and nothing
indicated their presence. At nine o'clock the sol-
diers approached; every man was suffered to pass
the extremity of the ambush before the signal was
given to fire. Half of the men fell at the first
discharge. The soldiers, utterly surprised, fired
at random, and did no execution, while the Indians
from their coverts picked them off man by mana
36





BILLY BOWL.EGS
Of the eight officers and one hundred and two men
composing the detachment, every officer and ninety-
eight men fell upon the spot; another was killed the
next day. Only three, all sorely wounded, made
their escape. The Indians lost only four or five.
"Great rejoicings were held that night by the
Indians. The scalps of the victims were suspended
upon a high pole, around which the drunken sav-
ages danced until daylight. Oseola had joined his
comrades, bringing the trophies of his exploit.
Songs were sung ridiculing the whites, and the In-
dians made themselves merry over laughable imita-
tions of the somewhat peculiar manner and gestures
of Thompson.
"Such was the opening scene of the Florida war,
which was to cost so much blood and treasure, and
to task so severely the skill and energy of our
ablest officers. Generals Gaines, Clinch, Scott,
Call, Jesup, Macomb, Taylor, Armistead, and
Worth, were successively placed in command. For
a time it seemed as though a few hundred savages
would successfully defy the whole power of the
United States. The Indians, indeed, soon found
that in open fight they were wholly unable to cope
with the whites. They adopted the true policy of
scattering themselves in small detachments, strik-
ing a sudden blow upon some exposed point, and
then taking refuge in the almost inaccessible
swamps.
"Against such a foe regular military operations
were of no avail. The only course was to track
them to their fastnesses, burn their villages, destroy
their crops, and reduce them by starvation. Again
and again it seemed as though this end was at-
tained. The Indians would then beg for peace,
37




BILLY BOWLEGS


promise to
and receive
announced
volunteers
sent away
at once th
of hunting
"Still, ye
chief aftei
their band


surrender, gather at the appointed posts,
e the promised presents. It would be
that the 'Florida war was ended'; the
would be disbanded, and the regulars
from the unhealthy swamps. Then all
e Indians would decamp, and the work
them out was to be done over again.
ear by year something was gained. One
r another was killed or captured, and
s surrendered, and were sent to Arkansas.


Oseola, coming into the camp of General
dez, on pretense of treating, was made
sent to Fort Moultrie, where he died of
heart. He had broken truce more than
had no right to complain of any want
Coacoochee, or Wild Cat, next after 0
most formidable warrior, surrendered.


leaving
loved i
child.
the han
care of
up and
were sl


Florida,' he said; 'it was m
t; to leave it is like burying m
But I have thrown awa my rifl
Id of the white man, and said to
me."' So band after band had
sent to Arkansas. The remain
lowly forced southward toward


J


able Everglades,
upon by the enem
The statement
a dead Indian is
less people like
hosiery salesman


a Pu
Creel
had


llman car.
c Indian front
voluntarily


where they were
y."


y
ly


Hernan-
prisoner,
a broken
once, and
of faith.
seola the
'I am
home; I
wife and


e an
him,
been
ing
the


d taken
"Take
broken
Indians
impass-


sorely pressed


oft made that a good Indian is
the kind of bosh that thought-
to propagate. I once heard a
give vent to such sentiments on
A few seats away there was a
n Oklahoma dressed in khaki who
resigned a ten-thousand-dollar-a-
38



















'*11Rlhu


No-KusH-ADJO,


j ,011


GENERAL.


INSPECTOR


















































LONG JACK, BILLY BOWLEGS' LIEUTENANT.




BILLY BOWLEGS
year job to serve his country in the World War.
The majority of Indians are capable, but they have
been hampered, misunderstood and in many in-
stances fooled and cheated. They need only the
right kind of opportunity in order to prosper. The
Indian mind, like the mind of the Oriental, is hard
to fathom. They are naturally suspicious; they
take note of every little thing but are loyal when
once their confidence is gained. They have been
no doubt guilty of the foulest trickery and treach-
ery in war but this is by no means confined to the
Indian. The World War of recent date is proof
enough that the white race can stoop to depths
of cruelty that render the acts of the fiercest sav-
age mere child's play in comparison. Canova
says "Through all the long and bloody strife
which preceded the settlement of Florida, no well-
grounded tale was ever told of a Seminole putting
a captive to death in an unnatural manner. He
was none the less heroic or warlike, for his lack
of brutality. In war, his first thought was to sub-
due his enemy at once and forever, with a bullet;
the thought of a lingering death was not pleasant
to him. The customs and habits of the aborigines
of Florida are not such as would grace a parlor
or ballroom, but they are by no means repulsive.
The wild free life which suits them best, has en-
gendered in them a love of freedom, which they
know how to fight for with energy and even with
41




BILLY BOWLEGS


dignity." The above is by a
and judging from his name
scendant of the Minorcans
Balearic Islands and settled
Coast of Florida.


man
was
who
long


who
no
can
ago


fought them
doubt a de-
le from the
on the East


They p
witted the
sources e:
from their
and it is
accused o


Ir


actised


all kinds


strategy


whites at their own game with few re-
xcept their wits. They had to secure
r enemies guns and powder to fight with
rare indeed that they have ever been
f cowardice. Their villages were burnt


and their crops destroyed with the hope of


ing them by starvation but
because they lived on the
In many instances I have
liquor and captured while


this in a measure
wild fruits and an
heard they were
drunk. In short


reduc-
failed
imals.
given
in the


treatment of the
present moment
much to repent.
Although to
gradual amalgam


which
from
these
cesses
being


finally re
this Indian
chiefs mig
.The ho
the child


Indian from the earliest days to the
we have little to be proud of and

a certain extent he holds aloof,
nation is his fate and the American
'sults will be none the worse off
strain. I presume the children of
;ht be classed as princes and prin-
nor is highly prized by some but
or grandchild of Bowlegs, Tiger


Tail or Coacoochee counts for little outside the
Everglades. American history would be tame with-
out the Indian and I hope the time will never
42


V


'




BILLY BOWLEGS


come


when


American


Indian." So far these pec
own culprits, praised their
of the white man's laws.
their worst crime if it ma
though when they came to
that in view one member c
to keep the rest out of tr
The Indians who lived
noles were probably very
Indians of the West Indie
cording to Dr. H. A. I


Dominica
dians left
quiet, pea
have lost


the only
are in tha
ceful and
all trace


Sboy forgets to "play
ople have punished their
Sown heroes, regardless
Drunkenness is about
y be classed a crime al-
town in years past with


f the
double.
here
close
;s if n


party stayed sober


fore the Semi-
related to the
the same. Ac-


Jicholls in his 1


pure blood aboriginal
t island. He says "they
well mannered.
of their double langu


book on
West In-
are now
. They
ige (for


the men used to speak one language while the
women spoke another), and occupy their days by
fishing, making their celebrated waterproof baskets,
and cultivating small plots of West Indian fruits
and vegetables." The double language scheme for
men and women is too admirable a custom to be
allowed to die especially if the men could be kept
from knowing what the women said and vice versa.
I have seen what looked like a decided Indian
strain in the natives of the mountains of Porto
Rico, in fact I have met some natives who claimed


to be part Indian.
Porto Rico Mr. La


In speaking of the jibaros of
Gorce in a recent article in
43





BILLY BOWLEGS


the National Geographic
rural laboring native is k
literally means 'escape fr
natured, reconciled to a h
existence, a mixture of I
combines the care-free idea
impetuous temperament o
jibaro inherits his name
After Columbus discover
de Leon awakened it, a g


adventurers,


who impressed


Those natives who cc


Magazine


says:


"The


known as 'jibaro,' which
om civilization.' Good-
ard lot and a precarious
ndian and Spaniard, he
Is of the Redskin and the
f the Soaniard." "The


rom the distant past.
the island and Ponce
Id fever brought many
the Indians into serv-
tuld escape fled to the


interior, away from their slave-driving masters."
"Some of the pioneering Spaniards made homes
for themselves with native women, by whom they
had numerous children. These all too often were
turned adrift." "Out of diverse types and races
has been bred the jibaro." The same is probably


true of
Spanish
strong i
peoples
peans a
very aj
Mexico
are still
of how


the other islands of the West Indies. The
and especially the Indian peoples are so
n Central America and Mexico that other
such as the Americans and northern Euro-
re quickly absorbed without producing any
appreciable effects. There are parts of
and Central America where the Indians
as wild as they ever were. We read stories


the natives


were


all killed


invaders,


but it is safe to assume that the men were killed
outright or worked to death but I doubt if the
44





BILLY BOWLEGS


women were
Cortez did w
to be a very
The story


killed. One of the main things old
as to marry an Indian and she proved
true, wise and valuable consort.
of the Seminole is repeated a hundred


times in the affairs of the world. A bunch of
men with their women seek a distant island or
secluded spot where they can do as they please.
Mankind is constantly seeking to get away from
the restraints which naturally form in thickly settled
communities. They name their new homes with
this in mind such as the Island of Eleuthera and
the term Eleutheromania has been coined to mean
a crazy zeal for freedom. All goes well for a
time until other people come who also want to
do as they please and spread their sovereignty


over it and take possession in the name of
and the Crown. And as the story goes
on their knees and then on the aborigines
in thanks on their knees again.


the Lord
they fall
and then


"The name of Billy Bowlegs appears only rarely
during the first three years of the war, and then
only incidentally as a sub-chief under Sam Jones.
His first exploit took place in July, 1839. General
Macomb, then the commander in Florida, had made
an arrangement with Sam Jones, who was by this
time considered a leading chief, in virtue of which
certain limits were temporarily assigned beyond
which the Indians should not pass, and within which
they should be protected. Colonel Harney was
sent to establish a trading-post for their con-
venience. His company, of thirty men, was en.
45


I





BILLY BOWLEGS
camped in an open barren near the Caloosahatchee
River. The Indians visited the camp day after day
in the most friendly manner. All suspicion was
disarmed, and not even a sentinel was posted to
guard against treachery. At daybreak on the morn-
ing of the 22nd of July two hundred Indians,
headed by Bowlegs, attacked the camp. The sur-
prise was complete. The men, suddenly aroused
from sleep, made no resistance. Those who were
not murdered in their beds fled to the river, and
were shot down in the water. Harney himself
escaped by swimming off to a fishing-smack anchored
some distance down the river. Of his thirty men
twenty-four were slain.
"From this time the influence of Bowlegs began
to increase. Sam Jones, who was said to be ninety
years old, was feeble and inert. He was formally
deposed from the chieftainship, and Bowlegs was
put in his place. The dignity was hardly worth
the having. The band now numbered scarcely two
hundred and fifty souls, of whom only eighty were
warriors. The new chiefs saw that further resist-
ance was useless, and, after sending an emissary to
ascertain what proposals for peace would be favor-
ably received, he made his appearance at head-
quarters, fully authorized to treat.
"Our government had in the meanwhile grown
weary of employing an army to hunt down a few
scattered savages. President Tyler, in his Mes-
sage of May 10, 1842, had said that 'the further
pursuit of these miserable beings* by a large mili-
tary force seems to be as injudicious as it is una-
vailing. Notwithstanding the vigorous exertions
of our troops, the Indian mode of warfare, their
dispersed condition, and the very smallness of their
46




BILLY BOWLEGS
number, which increases the difficulty of finding
them in the abundant and almost inaccessible hiding-
places, render any further attempts to secure them
by force impracticable, except by the employment
of the most expensive means.'
"Both parties being weary of the contest, terms
were soon agreed upon. A narrow district was
temporarily assigned to the Indians as a planting
and hunting ground, and on the 14th of August,
1842, it was formally announced that the war in
Florida was at an end, and Billy Bowlegs was recog-
nized as the head chief of the Seminoles remaining
in Florida.
"This seven years' inglorious war had cost much
blood and treasure. The regular troops engaged
had averaged something more than three thousand
men during the whole period. More than twenty
thousand volunteers had been brought into the field
from the different States. The records of the
War Department contain the names of fifteen
hundred and fifty-eight officers and soldiers of the
regular army who were killed in action or died of
wounds received or diseases contracted in Florida.
The losses of the volunteers can not be known.


Besides the cost o
a half millions of
and volunteers, a
trained by citizens.
not be estimated
dollars, and three


f the regular army, nineteen and
dollars were paid to the militia
nd as indemnity for losses sus-
The whole costs of the war can
at less than forty millions of
thousand lives. The number of


Indian warriors killed and sent to Arkansas h
exceeded fifteen hundred. Each of these, t
fore, must have cost the country two lives,
more than twenty-five thousand dollars.
"The peace thus concluded between King
47


ardly
here-
and


Billy


--~------- -.--- ----


t





BILLY BOWLEGS


United


States


dozen years and more.


continued


unbroken


for a


At length, something more


than eighteen months ago, paragraphs began to
make their appearance in the papers announcing the
re-oDening of the Florida war. Hostilities had


again broken
glades and t
Harney was


before
him


out between


Model


the King of the Ever-


Republic.


sent to meet


re anything serious
transferred to mot


taken


Then


oppone
place,


re important duties


General
nt; but
we find
Sin the


Northwest.


and loss of life.


Then came news of obscure skirmishes


Then it was reported that our


President, Buchanan,


farmer who


Sr


*


'found a


reversing the policy of
rude boy in his apple-
/* ^ *a


tree,' atter exhausting the force ot grass, tried
what virtue there was in stones, had resolved to try
what effect fair words, money, and whisky would


have


inducing


indomitable


Billy


to leave


his Florida home.


At last, under date of May 8,


1858,


came


'General


Orders,


' from


'Head-quarters of the Department of Florida,' an-
nouncing that the war was closed."
This little article on Billy Bowlegs has already


carried me far afield.


thews


once


on Naval


Timber,


As the old


forester


preface
Public


Mat-
book


time


profitably over my pages, I consider the blame at-


tachable to them, not to me.
obtrude as a speaker does, b


writer does not


ut merely places his


thoughts within
out platitudes t
prisonment in t


reach."


here


When


is danger


he use of


a speaker


hands


arrest


decayed vegetables and




BILLY BOWLEGS


eggs but in the case of a
it as much as he likes and
The squaw-man and the
been held in more or less
are usually rated as bad a
and bad mother in bad
is almost certain but the
breeds of all kinds and
U.S.A., even if we are n
entitled to equal opportunity
and especially opulence ar
prejudice fades away in
and especially wealth. Tt
glades is very much as h<
Oklahoma some of his br
and have fat money roll
instances schooled these]


book a man can abuse
if need be destroy it.
half-breed have always
contempt. Half-breeds
ctors. With bad father
surroundings the result
world is full of half-
descriptions and in the
ot all equal, we are all
y. Liberty, opportunity,
e quick in action. Color
the presence of ability
ie Seminole in the Ever-
e always was but out in
others ride in limousines
s. They have in many
Lives to think and act as


the white man


thinks and acts.


They are, how-


ever, at heart Indians. There
man on the streets of Miami
the Seminole. He may be an
is little the Indian would adopt


is no better dressed
than Willie-Willie,
exception but there
of the white man's


ways if he could have his way. They resist amal-
gamation but in time they give way. The Indian
is simple in his needs, sincere in his religion and
naturally honest. Much of this he of course loses
when he merges with the whites.
I once read in an old newspaper (The Southern
Sun of Palatka) that hostilities began anew when
49





BILLY BOWLEGS
either surveyors or soldiers stole bananas from the
camp of Billy Bowlegs.
Since the main Seminole War there were two
outbreaks-one in 1849 and the other in 1855.
The last was really due to a surveyor in the Big
Cypress who stole Billy Bowlegs' bananas and ruth-
lessly trampled on the plants out of sheer bravado
and meanness. They refused to make good the
loss and shots followed. The engineer was badly
wounded, Indians went on the warpath and sol-
diers hunted Indian men, women and children as
they would bear or panther. A bounty of $500
was placed on the heads of warriors and $250 each
on children and women. Canova who was an
Indian hunter says in his book on Florida, after
they had captured some women and children:
"The women although badly frightened, remained
sullen and silent, but the pickaninnies set up a howl
that would have done credit to a horde of young
hyenas. The poor creatures had been fearfully
cut and lacerated, by running through the tall saw-


grass." They had been ru


a


ithlessly


moved


from


their little clearing on an island in the Everglades
where "fine corn, beans, and pumpkins were grow-
ing underneath the live-oaks."
I once heard from reliable sources that Billy
Bowlegs just before deportation from Florida, ii
the house of a soldier picked up the soldier's baby
and rushed away with it to show to his women.
50o




BILLY BOWLEGS


His royal highness might have been shot but for
fears of injuring the child. He was soon over-


taken.
before
elation
women
I ha,
couple


He had probably
at close range and
unceremoniously
and slaves.
re recently had the
of days with the


never seen a white baby
in innocent and childish
grabbed it to show his


Pleasure of spending a
present Billy Bowlegs.


He says he is sixty years old and is the grandson
of the Billy Bowlegs of Seminole War fame. Al-
though not very talkative he is far less taciturn
than the common run of Indians. He has the
reputation of being a pretty good Indian. He goes
on long journeys afoot throughout the southern


part of this
miles a day.
called him a
chobee City w
filled with gol


state, walking twenty-five or thirty
He was very much amused when I
"tourist." He told me that Okee-
as his post-office. He had his teeth
d. He took most excellent care of


his dog. His dog was a real Indian dog and ap-
parently understood no English and had the same
quiet sleuthful and reticent character of the Indian.
He bought meat for his dog and prepared for him
a fine bed of Florida moss under our automobile.
He said his two horses were dead but that he still
had two wagons. He owned a canoe, a gun, a
blanket and some household utensils. A very few
dollars would buy all his worldly possessions. His
dog, canoe and gun practically constituted his
51





BILLY BOWLEGS


estate.


His dog was evidently his best friend and


constant companion
gave him very little
squaws at present ar
inferred he was glad


shot gui
highly.
clothing
at more
day to


n of inexpensi
He had n


; he
Stha
day


and his family if
concern. He sai
id from the way
of it. He had a
ive make which he
o desire for 'any


he had any
d he had no
he said it, I
single-barrel
prized very
superfluous


ate very little and with raccoon hides
n two dollars each he could live from
with no worries and slight privation.


By eating sparingly
the open air, and
tagions of cities he
age and finally curl
on some little Eve
buried with some
doctor's or underta
over wills or inhe


y, by


walking long distances in


by keeping away from the con-
will probably live to a ripe old
up and die under the palmettoes
erglade island and if found be
of his belongings without any
Lker's bills to pay or any bother
ritance taxes.


Although he seemed very much civilized in some


respects;
promised
tain time
a few yeg


I am sure he would
to meet you at a ce
he would be there.
tables now and then


business. Lots of white men
business in Florida and talk
and guns than they do of the
a boy in the process of growth
various stages of culture thr
has passed so does the whiti
52


not
rtain
He
but
have
more


steal and if he
point at a cer-
said he raised
hunting was his
gone into this
of their dogs


:ir families. Just as
h passes through the
tough which the race
e man under proper


'





BILLY BOWLEGS


conditions quickly revert
wild life of the glades
abundance during India
when the white man take
kills just for the fun of
for money with which
hunter has good reason f


in the same way. The
which persisted in great
n times quickly vanishes
s hold. The Indian never
it. He kills for food or
to buy food. The pot-
or killing but the man who


kills for fun is in a class by himself even if he is
white.
The whole of South Florida should be one big
bird sanctuary. All hunting should be stopped.
Tropical birds would come here in great quantities
and bird lovers would come here to live from all
parts of the world. Hunting gives pleasure to
only a small portion of the population. Wild bird
life like beautiful plant life gives pleasure to every
normal person.
Billy Bowlegs when not acting as a guide collects
otter, raccoon and alligator skins for the market.
I think he resembles the picture of his grandfather
and is on the whole an improvement on his distin-
guished ancestor.
I have not seen much of the Chief Tiger Tail
in print. The story is told that rather than be
deported he pounded glass into powder and drank
it with water and died in consequence.
The following is Canova's account of the death
of Tiger Tail: "Amongst our captives was Tiger
Tail. He was determined not to leave Florida
53






BILLY BOWLEGS


alive, and committed suicide while at Myers in
a horrible manner. The morning they were to
leave, he procured a quantity of glass which he
pounded fine, and swallowed in a glass of water.
While the guards were taking him down to the
dock where the steamer lay waiting, he told Samp-
son the negro interpreter, that he was going to
die. At the same time he asked the guards to let
him lie down, which they permitted him to do.


Spreading his pallel
self on it and in a
stoical indifference


t upon the ground, he laid him-
few minutes, with the Indian's
to the pain he suffered, and to
h wa


the approach of death, he died. His daug
with him, and when he breathed his last s
herself upon his dead body, wailing so
that the bystanders, men used as they were
and sorrow, could not keep back their te
Tiger Tail was buried at Fort Myers in
he loved better than his own life. Wha
faults were he was a brave chief, and
defended the land in which he was born, a


he felt was his birthright, and it was fi
he should find his last resting place in i
where all, red men and white are the s;
they sleep the sleep that knows no waki
world."
A tall monument should be reared ii
of the man who died rather than leave
of Florida. When a man is so fond of
54


[hter was
he threw
piteously
to death
ars.
the land
tever his
valiantly
nd which


tti
Its
am
ng


ng that
bosom,
Le when
in this


i memory
the state
his native


--





BILLY BOWLEGS


land that he would rather be dead than live
where is an advertisement for the land of p
that would be hard to rival. The name Tiger
is still common with the Seminoles and one
Tiger Tail, the little daughter of Jack Tiger
who was murdered on the Miami River not
apo. died recently in a Miami hospital and


~~ -- -- .J
buried in the City Ce
Although there are
dred Indians in South


metery.
hardly more than
Florida there was


else-
alms
Tail
Icha
Tail
long
was


five hun-
a time no


doubt when


t supported a much larger population.


There are evidences on all sides.
containing many potsherds and
mains are common. These pots v
elsewhere since there is no clav


part of
are big
of the
on the
on oyst
place I
artificial
of shell
circle o
eating


th
me


is sta
fundss


te fit
and o


Kitchenmiddens
other Indian re-


ye
r


for pottery.
their evidences


C


past. Here and
shore where the)
ers, conchs and
know of there is
I harbor, surroun
Is. It is easy to
n the beach and


sters much large


there ar
r feasted
other she


a little
ded on
picture
the In
r than


ro
a


re brought from
in the southern
Here and there
Sof these people
Smiles of shells
year after year


11 i
und
1 si


these
dians
those


sh. In one
I, apparently
ides by piles
canoes in a
on the crest
of to-day.


In the hammocks, which are patches of dense
tropical hardwoods, there are usually signs of old
Indian habitations and it is more than likely that
these were at one time clearings where they raised
55


Y


i


oy


e





BILLY BOWLEGS


their meagre


crops.


Their


agriculture was


crude. It is rather remarkable that the abori
of South Florida and West Cuba were not
higher type. In their canoes they passed
Cuba to the peninsula of Florida but there s
little or no evidence of any communication
Yucatan Channel to Cuba is about the san
civilization developed. The distance across
Yucatan channel to Cuba is about the san


very
gines
of a
from
ieems
with
re as
s the
e as


that across
line from K
of Yucatan
miles. Key
to Jacksonvi
West are t
this way an
shore of th
with the oi
gear appare
letter bear
coat.
I have o
captains of


the Straits
ey West to
the distance
West is ne
Hle. About


he Dry To
d I have s
Le Florida
owner's coat
ntly just as


ng


of Florida.
Cape Catoche
is less than


arer to
sixty-fiv


rtugas.
een a ca
Keys di
,water
he had


his name


In
0f
Fm


a straight
n the coast
ir hundred


Yucatan than it is
e miles west of Key
The currents flow
noe washed on the
direct from Yucatan
bottle and fishing
left them. An old
address was in his


often wondered why some of the big
industry have not built a railroad to


Panama by way of Florida, Cuba and Yucatan.
A ferry from the west end of Cuba to Yucatan
would be no greater task than the connection from
Key West to Havana. Such a line would shorten
the distance to Panama by many hours and al-
though I cannot pass on the practicality of such
56































































BEN BRUNO. NEGRO SLAVE AND FAVORITE.


a








gs,




























A SEMINOLE FAMILY CAMPING BY THE WAYSIDE.


YOUNG INDIANS ON A HUNT.




BILLY BOWLEGS
a venture it would link together and render ac-
cessible some of the most fruitful and beautiful
countries of the Western Hemisphere. The same
might apply to a trunk-line to Porto Rico through
Cuba, Haiti and San Domingo. In fact the West
Indies, north coast of South America and Central
America comprising what is often called the "Amer-
ican Mediterranean" is in my opinion unrivalled
throughout the world in matters of interest and
beauty-scientific, scenic, historic, geographic or
almost any other viewpoint.
The word "Osceola" (the author of this article
spells it Oseola) comes from Asi-yaholo, the black
drink halloer, from "asi," the black drink and
"yaholo," the long-drawn-out cry sung by the at-
tendant while each man in turn is drinking. This
sounds like college boys' play in some beer cellar
but it was a very serious ceremony with the Indian.
This black drink above referred to was made from
the leaves of Ilex Cassine, a beautiful species of


holly common close to the seashore in
the Carolinas. Indians came many miles t
It was used as a purge and emetic to pu
body and clear the mind before councils
monies of various kinds. It would be a g(
if some of our white solons and counselor
purge themselves in the same way before i
their useless and foolish laws upon us.
investigations show that the plant contains
59


la. and
o get it.
rify the
or cere-
od idea
s would
inflicting
Recent
caffeine





BIILLYBOWLEGS


and produces a
coffee and tea.


America
fine in
since it I
ought to


beverage similar
It resembles the


in
"n


to which it is very closely
this form does not seem
s our best brain stimulant
be encouraged. This holly


I
la
r
i
t
C


its effects to
te" of South
elated. Caf-
njurious and
the use of it
ailed Cassina


grows in abundance in the sands close to the sea.
It forms a beautiful hedge and should be exten-
sively planted in such places as a wind break.
This brings us to the question of the great
desirability of studying the various native plants


that these Indians used for food and
poses. All this information might be


fore they become too
use of aniline dyes I
forgotten the sources
Many of these plants
and all the knowledge
lated in reference to


much civilized.
presume they ha
of their old time


other pur-
secured be-
Since the
Yve already
dye stuffs.


are no doubt of great value
these Indians have accumu-
them through close contact


over many years would be lost. In acquiring in-
formation from the Indian it is my experience that
this questioning must be very carefully and casually


done. He i
for it, and
white man a
thinks you
To return
Scotchman.


s anxious to
dislikes opp
nd will give
want regard
to Oseola.


did not


please, especially if paid
losing or contradicting a
you the answer that he
ess of its correctness.
His grandfather was a


show his


Scotch


blood


when he took the money that Charley-e-Mathla had
60


I





BILYBOWLEGS


received from the sale of his cattle and flung it
away. Probably he watched where it fell and
later rescued it. It is said that the peculiar and
striking method of dress of the present Seminole
was copied from the Scotch. It is interesting to
note that the dress of the Seminoles as shown
in these illustrations from Harpers Weekly is
unlike the dress of to-day and very similar to the
dress of other American Indians. The Seminole
of to-day is barelegged and barefooted. He is
often referred to as the Semi-nude Seminole. In
early days he wore buckskin breeches and moo


casinos. The Semino
cuts it into strips, di
and then sews then


le buy!
res the
Small t


any combination of colors
her fancy. It is quite possi
tion of the Scotch plaid.
similar. Overalls and oth


s a bolt
se strips
together
that m
ible that
Anywi
er Amer


of cotton cloth,
different colors
again to make
eight suit his or
this is an imita-
ay the effect is
ican clothes are


gradually replacing their old picturesque dress.
The latest stunt is to have Seminole Indians for
golf caddies. Their fondness for Scotch whisky
is well established and if they could be taught
to play the bag-pipe and acquire some Scotch thrift
their future would be forever assured. I have
heard it said that the cross between a Scotchman
and a negro is very successful because the negro
is always happy when he has a dollar and the


Scotchman always has one.
61


The Scotch blood no





BILLY BOWLEGS


doubt
of Ose
of his
It is


added to the vigor
ola and possibly in
descendants.
Easy to see how


, bravery and shrewdness
slight degree to the thrift


i hungry man could soon


learn to eat raw oysters but how
managed to discover the value o


a food is more of a
this plant is deadly pc
years it has been the
and of the early white
fern-like plant of the
the highland sand and
other drawbacks. Its


the
fkc


problem In
isonous and
mainstay of
settlers. It
sago family.
rocks in spi


turnip-like


starch but also of poison. T
a trough made from a log.
the bottom and is washed to
poison. If an animal drinks
washings he soon swells up
Once thoroughly dean, this
palatable and nutritious bi


arrowroot. Koonti
are still in operation i
The refuse is rich in
ago to mulch and fe
naturally throughout
an ample natural foo
remained in a wild
lands subject to the


or com
n this st
nitroge
rtilize f
the pin
d supply
state.
slightes


Sem
)onti
its
yet
the
is a
It
te o


root


he root is p
The starch


inole ever
starch as
raw state
for many
se people
beautiful
grows in
f fire and
is full of
wounded in
settles to


free it from fibre and
the water from these
and dies in agony.
starch makes a yery
scuit quite equal to
iptie starch factories
ate and the Bahamas.
n and was used years
ruit trees. It grows
lewoods and afforded
y as long as the land
It will not grow in
it flooding. It prob-


ably secures its nitrogen directly from the air in
62


m





DILLY BOWLEGS


the soil the same as do the legumes. It should be
preserved, improved and cultivated before it too
becomes a thing of the past. Its leaves are valuable
for decorative purposes and in many other ways
it is one of the most interesting of all the tropical
or semi-tropical plants which grow in South Florida.
No doubt the most notable difference in the char-
acter of South Florida from the days of the early
Indians to the present time is due to the change in
the nature of the vegetation since the advent of
the white man. The gorgeous beauty of these
tropical plants, rendered possible of course by
the climate, and accessible by good highways, is
really one of the greatest if not our greatest
asset. One by one they have been introduced by
plant lovers with the help of the Federal and
State governments from foreign lands and have
gradually become so well established that we forget
they were once mostly strangers. It is only when
we go out in the pine woods or glades away from
the homes of men that we realize how much has


41


been done and to
been changed. In
ing the high lands
treasures from all
modified the surface
realizes. This offs
the neglect of man]
some of which like


what extent the landscape has
draining the low lands, irrigat-
and planting these vegetable
parts of the world man has
e of the earth far more than he
ets in a way but does not excuse
r of our native valuable plants,
many of our wild animals are
63





BILLY BOWLEGS


on the road to extinction.
duced trees the cocopalm
striking. There are some
palm like the royal palm
This seems to me hardly 1
mention of it in the earlier


Among all these i
is probably the
who argue that
has always been
ikely since there
t writings on this


ntro-
most
this
here.
is no
sub-


ject that I have seen. It was probably introduced
by the Spaniards to furnish oil for their lamps and
lighthouses. In mentioning this wonderful palm


which has become
landscape I cannot
of O'Brien in his
"To me there is a
presence of these c
of the simplicity
summer of the tro
the dominion of ti
sight when long aw


such a striking feature
refrain from quoting the
Mystic Isles of the South
n inexpressible sentiment
ocopalms. They are the s
and singleness of the (


in our
words
Seas:
in the
ymbol
Eternal


pics; the staff and gonfalons of
ie sun. My heart leaps at their
ray. They are the dearest result


of seed and earth. I drink their wine and esteem
dwelling in their sight a rare communion with the
best of nature."
There is a small tree or bush that grows abun-
dantly on the sea coast and on islands in the
Everglades. It is the cocoplum. Andrew Canova
writes that when he was hunting Seminoles these
cocoplum fruits were a boon to the soldiers. In
speaking of them he says: "There are two varieties
-the black and the white cocoplum-and the
fruit is about the size of a greengage plum. The
64





BILLY BOWLEGS


pulp is very sweet and
After the pulp has been
and inside is found a
chocolate very closely,
ance."
Canova's description


good and very refreshing.
eaten, the seed is cracked,
substance that resembles
both in taste and appear-


glades


is quoted


below. He crossed it afoot with other soldiers
and the help of boats many years ago: "Stand-
ing on the edge of the Everglades, we could look
each way, and discern the line of demarkation as
plainly as ever was seen in a field or lake. The


confines


great


morass


in almost


straight line north and south, and
the dim distance on each side of
lay a warm, reeking mass of wa
vegetation, and around us stood
plum trees laden with fruit. A


pervaded the whole
could see the white
bill, expanding their
but they uttered no
spread his scarlet p
wended his fight to


scene.
heron a
wings
sound.
inions i
the sou


Far


n
th


melted away into
us. At our feet
ter and decaying
myrtle and coco-
Ln intense silence
ahead of us we


I the roseate spoon-
the warm sunlight,
A solitary flamingo
the air, and slowly
at last looking like


a blazing red star, sinking into the horiz
saw-grass and myrtle."
To return to the question of the purity
of the Indians of Florida it is safe to
they were very much mixed. Here is a s
maAy hundreds of miles of coast line with
65


)n of the


of blood
say that
tate with
countless





BILLY BOWLEGS


bays and rivers, pointing southward into the West
Indies a distance close to five hundred miles. It
is practically the oldest inhabited section of white
settlers in the U.S.A. Many wanderers came
here as colonists from all parts of the world year
after year long ago, not to mention the wrecks on
the coast. There were white renegades as well as
blacks and Seminoles hiding here and there in the
countless safe retreats which it afforded.
While on a visit to the famous Gulf Hammock
in Western Florida lately I met a family who called
themselves "Croatans" and seemed very proud of
their purity of blood although the granddaughter
showed signs of negro admixture. These Croatans
came from North Carolina and according to the
Bureau of Ethnology they number approximately


five thousand.
more Croatan
are Seminoles
negroes but re


claim was
a separa
"Croatan
Raleigh's
they now
admitted
negroes.


office


t


In other wo
s in North
in Florida.
sented this s
ally recognize


e legal
Indians,"


stence
the


rds there
Carolin


They
o stro
ed and
unda
theory


lost colony of Croatan.
have separate school p
to some privileges not
The theory of descen


colony may be regarded as


basele


WI
mng
th
er
of
Ur


are ten times
a than there
ere classed as
ly that "their
ey were given
the title of
descent from
ider this name


revision and are
accorded to the
t from the lost
ss, but the name


itself


serves as


convenient label
66


for a


people





BILLY BOWLEGS


who combine
native tribes,
the runaway
also of stray
ing vessels in
(A novel by


in themselves the blood of the wasted
the early colonists or forest rovers,
slaves or other negroes, and probably
seamen of the Latin races from coast-
the West Indian or Brazilian trade.


Mary


based on Raleigh'
Across the line
people, evidently
"Redbones." In
Eastern Tennesse
lungeons" probeb
"mixed" or "Por
from the Croata
"Moors." All o
people of mixed
fering in no waj
remnants known


sl
in
o
e
aab


Johnston
ost colony
South Ca
)f similar
irtions of
are found
ly from


called
in No
rolina
origi
North


"Croatan" is
rth Carolina).
are found a
n, designated
Carolina and


the so-called "Me-
French Melange,


tuguese," apparently an offshoot
n proper, and in Delaware the
f these are local designations for
race with an Indian nucleus dif-


r
is


fro
Pa


Nansemond Indians in
more complete loss of
the physical features ar
of this mixed stock inc
to the white or negro.'
The above might
Seminole as well as t
Seminole means "run
comes from the Creek


'm the present mixed-blood
munkey, Chickahominy, and
1 Virginia, excepting in the
their identity. In general,
id complexion of the persons
line more to the Indian than
I


ipply more
o the Croa
away" or
language.


or less to the
tan. The word
"renegade" and
They call them-


selves "Ikaninuksalgi" meaning people at the point
of the land. The word Seminole has been well
67





BILLY BOWLEGS


worked in Florida. A county is named for them,
also hotels, cafes, cubs and corporations of various
kinds throughout the state.
Some of the Seminole towns had awful names


such
talah
were
Tow
and


as Chohalaboohhulka, Hatchcalomocha, Toto-
oeetska, and Withlacoocheetalofa while others
known by such English names as Bowlegs
n, Buckerwoman's Town, Mulatto Girl's Town
Negro Town, the last two names sort of in-


dicating ths
ponderance
no worse th
are simple
sible for th
4


ican words
are difficult
said he coi


I


t the negro was in control or in pre-
in those places. Seminole names are


an other Indian names. Although many
and very euphonious others are impos-
e Anglo-Saxon. Certain common Mex-
such as Tlaxcala and Ixtacamaxtiblan
for some and I know one man who
uld not travel in Central America or


Mexico because he could not spell, pronounce or
remember the names of the places that he wanted
to visit.
The Bureau of Ethnology of our Government
is authority for the following relating to the purity
of the Seminoles in Oklahoma: "A large propor-
tion of negro blood exists in many tribes, particu-
larly in those formerly residing in the Gulf States,
and among the remnants scattered along the At-
lantic Coast from Massachusetts southward. The
Five Civilized Tribes of Oklahoma, having been
slaveholders and surrounded by Southern influences,
68





BILLY BOWLEGS
generally sided with the South in the Civil War.
On being again received into friendly relations with
the Government they were compelled by treaty to
free their slaves and admit them to equal Indian
citizenship. In 1905 there were 20,619 of these
adopted negro citizens in these five tribes, besides
all degrees of admixture in such proportions that
the census takers are frequently unable to discrim-
inate. The Cherokee as a body have refused to
intermarry with their negro citizens, but among the
Creeks and the Seminole intermarriage has been
very great. The Pamunkey, Chicahominy, Marsh.
pee, Narraganset, and Gay Head remnants have
much negro blood, and conversely there is no doubt
that many of the broken coast tribes have been
completely absorbed by the negro race."
When the trees are all turpentined and cut, when
even the moss on the trees has all been gathered
and sold for the stuffing of cushions and mattresses,
when the cattle are tick-infested and of little value
and fires have reduced the land to a useless scrub
and when the agricultural crop consists mainly of
cane to produce syrup for the manufacture of liquor,
white, negro and Indian are all on the same plane.
They easily revert to a very primitive state, all
freely mingle, all "tote" guns and are all naturally
vindictive toward anything that stands in their way.
The white is of course the worst. He falls hardest
because he falls farthest.
69





BILLY BOWLEGS


Under-nourishment or improper food and the
ravages of hookworm aggravate the situation.
The white more than the negro or Indian seems
nervously afflicted. When a cracker feeds his
family on alligator tails and the tips of cabbage
palms he is looked down upon although his family
probably profits by it. Other reptiles such as iguana


and terrapin and even
sidered great delicacies
restaurants. Men are
these tips. They are
and sold at a high price
to kill a cabbage palm


cabbage palm tips are con-
when served in fashionable
now engaged in gathering
carefully prepared, canned
although it seems shameful
which grows so slowly for


a pot of cabbage. Clumps of these palms on the
horizon are of great beauty but their trunks ard
useful for piling and also for brush fibre and their
seeds are useful for a healthful soft drink and as
a medicine in addition to the cabbage. Their thick
foliage forms a safe retreat for wild birds. For-
tunately they are still abundant but the piles of
cabbage tips one sometimes sees by the road-side
mean that it too will some day be exhausted.
Where the cabbage palm grows is also a sign of
good land which will also hasten its extinction. To
revert to the subject of race mixture we commonly
hear that social and moral laws will stop it, we
hear learned men in public speeches say there is no
melting pot in this country, that the various races
and types of people in the U.S.A. are keeping to
70







themselves,


BILLY BOWLEGS
developing their own


national


traits,


etc., and that a mingling of the races of the world
because of the public sentiment against it will never
happen. But it has happened and is happening and
in spite of all laws social or moral will continue to
happen. Great numbers of Portuguese settled in
New England and California and have become an
inseparable part of our population. Trace this
blood back to Europe and you are liable to find all
kinds of African strains. In time a pure Anglo-
Saxon will be uncommon on the streets of our big
cities if it is not so already. New York, New
Orleans, and San Francisco are ethnic composites


harder to
Back of
is fundami
amendment


guess than any cross-word puzzle.
all social laws and customs and beliefs
ental biologic law. Even a constitutional
It may have little effect. It has never


yet given either the Indian or the negro
rights. We unjustly bar Mongolians from
ing this country but admit peoples who are
inferiors and who may have heavy strains of
golian blood in their veins.


Although social grounds
the pace the result in time
The world will never knoi
absorbed by ancient Greec
descendants are here mixin
here. Race prejudice is
factor. In fact it is the 1
71


equal
enter-
their
Mon-


may slacken or modify
will be about the same.
r the numbers of slaves
e and Rome and their
Ig with what is already
a very potent biologic
basic cause of many of





BILLY BOWLEGS


our bloodiest wars
of communication


races of
pots of
finance
way in
if it is
reason
World
States c


Smen are b
the world.
is that way
the course


. With the increase of means
over the face of the earth the
being unified in the great melting
Finance is international and if
everything else will be the same
of time. The world is nothing


not mixed. Man
that the only hope
is to mix them all


y believe with
for peace in
together into a


>f Europe or the United States of


lots of
the Old
United
Asia on


if possible the United States of the whole


World


without race or religious I
North Americans may
this line and may maintain
and in their own sections b
Mexico, Central America,
West Indies or Africa or
little Island of Hawaii is
most mixed populations in 1


prejudice .
have their ideas
them among their
ut they fail to al
South America
Asia. In fact ou
inhabited by one
the world. Ther


way to unscramble scrambled eggs and the


will go on mixing more and more and there
help for it.
There is hardly such a thing as purity of i
We call a certain breed of chickens "pure b
although it may be a combination of a
breeds. As a noted poet once said a man
omnibus in which his ancestors ride and it is
than likely that the bluest of the blue may
stray passengers. Every old family has h;


along
r class
)ply to
or the
lr own
of the
e is no
World


is no


blood.
lood"
dozen
is an
more
have
ad its


72





BILLY BOWLEGS


black
have
remo
have
acter
who
the h


sheep and pirates, buccaneers and adventurers
left countless mestizos behind them in the
test corners of the globe while invading armies
often almost completely changed the char-
of the population of a nation. The people
survive on this earth will be those who are
ardiest and most prolific regardless of race or


color.
The Indian has not been killed off by bullets, or


rum or the
claimed. So
man landed
sorbed by th
There are
primordial c


white man's diseases as much as is
mme were dying out before the white
but many have been gradually ab-
e incoming peoples of all kinds.
many who believe with reason that the
olor of man is a good rich mahogany


brown a
This is
is the c
posed t(
which v
are as
posed ti
est of
broades
than in,
though


md that both
the color of
:olor that a
Swind and si
re belong inc
black as nigl
o mean excell
human virtue
t sense and


black and white are off-colors.
a good healthy Indian. This
white man assumes when ex-
n. The great Aryan Race to
udes some Asian peoples who
it. The name Aryan is sup-
ent or honorable. The great-
's is no doubt charity in its
ye can put it to no better use


our relations with other peoples who al-
different from us in many ways may not


be inferior. The civilization of the Indian may be
as near sound and right as ours. It all depends
upon the point of view. Although the greatest
73





BILLY BOWLEGS
-- ,


study of man
time naturally
before no man
an Indian.
There is one


is no doubt man, it is at the same
the most difficult. As I have said
has ever yet fathomed the mind of


Thing sure-he is a true American.


Back many thousands of years he
He is a product of this environm
to him we are green new-comers.
Indian blood that he will finally le
do us no harm and probably a lot


has lived here.
ent. Compared
The strain of
ave with us will
of good. Mex-


ico is really an Indian country. The Spaniards
with their guns, diseases and vices have done their
best to subjugate it but the Indians have been so
numerous and vigorous that they have absorbed
countless immigrants of all kinds and still remain
mainly Indians. It is difficult even to guess the
thousands of Americans who have been absorbed
in the Mexican population. Anyway the Indian
predominates there to such extent that there is no
danger of his extinction for long times to come.
There are Indians there who look Mongolian.
Maybe their ancestors came East from Asia via
the Behring Straits. The Eskimo is strongly Mon-
golian. While Russia owned our Northwest it is
safe to say that many Mongolians entered it from
Asia.
Anyway any one who has visited the Indian ruins
of Central America and Mexico realizes that they
at one time developed a civilization quite equal
74

































NATIVE ROYAL PALMS ON PARADISE KEY.





p >
5 -: *- Y'ltaPP
Tv:
,wf



If
I k~l
2t


INDIAN WOMAN POUNDING COMPTIE,





































K


A SCENE IN THE EVERGLADES.


a




BILLY BOWLEGS
to their contemporaries anywhere throughout the
world. Many distinguished men in North America
have been or are of either pure or mixed Indian
blood and I have yet to find the person among them
who was not proud of it.
In conclusion let me add a few words in reference
to one of their most important if not the most
important of all Seminole ceremonies--the GREEN
CORN DANCE. It was of course much more than
a dance. It was a solemn annual religious festival
of the Creek Indians but similar to many of the
festivals that most peoples of the world celebrate.
They purge themselves with various herbs, wash
themselves, start new fires, rid themselves of sin
and filth, repent and start afresh with all kinds of
little ceremonies each with a potent meaning. It
seems to be a sort of combination of New Years,
Salt-water-day, Spring-house-cleaning, Camp-meet-
ing, etc. They seem to be trying to rid them-
selves of sin by doing all sorts of stunts except
whipping themselves as do the Flagellantes of New
Mexico. Bartram says when a town celebrates
the busk (from Creek puskita, a fast), having
previously provided themselves with new clothes,
new pots, pans, and other household utensils and
furniture, they collect all their worn-out clothes and
other despicable things, sweep and cleanse their
houses, squares, and the whole town of their filth,
which with all the remaining grain and other old
77




BILLY BOWLEGS


provisions, they cast together into one common
heap and consume it with fire. After having taken
medicine, and fasted for three days, all the fire
in the town is extinguished. During this fast they
abstain from the gratification of every appetite and
passion whatever. A general amnesty is pro-
claimed, all malefactors may return to their town,
and they are absolved from their crimes, which are
now forgotten, and they are restored to favor.
According to this there is fasting and pardoning
of criminals and forgiveness of sins followed by
feasting and rejoicing over the fruits of the year
because the new year begins when the crops mature
in late summer. They start with new pots and new
clothes and new fire. It is really a remarkable in-
stitution because it combines in one at least half a
dozen ceremonies, religious and otherwise, that the


civilized peoples of


the world


have never seen this dance but
much about it but am sure the
that happens during these days
ing and feasting is known only
I was impressed with the


Canova in his description o
great Green Corn Dance o
"Great piles of compti h;
many cabbage palm trees
the snow-white buds prepa
of ground was selected in
78


indulge in to-day. I
have heard and read
significance of much
of fasting and purg-
to the Indian.
following words of


f the preparation of this
f the Seminole:
ad been dug and washed;
were slaughtered, and
red for the pot. A spot
the shadiest part of the





BILLY BOWLEGS


hammock, where three giant-bodied live oaks leaned
their great arms together, and a large space of
ground under the trees was divested of its growth
of palmettoes and bushes and swept dean. A fire
of rich pine knots and oak-limbs was built in the


center, and
live coals.
laden with
placed in t
men held s
the deer an
warriors. I


sassahol
venison
islands
prairies


after a while there was a deep bed of
The women came in from the fields,
green corn, which they husked and


:h


embers


to roast,


ecret councils together
d wild hogs brought in
rrom the dark recesses c


while the old
,and skinned
Sby the young
f the Coontee-


lober, the ancient warriors came
and bear meat on their shoulders;
of Okeechobee, and the. heron
and hammocks of the great Coon


pollawah and
legions came
If the Gree
duced in all I


S
tr<


affajeehojee's Town,
coping to the scene
Corn Dance could be
details in the movie


,bearing
from the
-tenanted
teeseema-


the dusky red
of festivity."
: exactly repro-
;s or staged as


a pageant in Florida, true to life, it
well worth travelling many miles to see.


would


"The things you learn from the yellow
and brown
Will help you a lot with the white."
THE END

79




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