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Interview with Mrs. Bessie DuBois, December 14, 1973

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Title:
Interview with Mrs. Bessie DuBois, December 14, 1973
Creator:
DuBois, Bessie ( Interviewee )
Publication Date:
Language:
English

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords:
Seminole Indians
Seminoles -- Florida
Seminole Oral History Collection ( local )

Notes

Funding:
This text has been transcribed from an audio or video oral history. Digitization was funded by a gift from Caleb J. and Michele B. Grimes.

Record Information

Source Institution:
Samuel Proctor Oral History Program, Department of History, University of Florida
Holding Location:
This interview is part of the 'Seminoles' collection of interviews held by the Samuel Proctor Oral History Program of the Department of History at the University of Florida
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Made available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial 4.0 International license: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/.
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SEM 103 ( SPOHP IDENTIFIER )

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Full Text
SOUTHEASTERN INDIAN ORAL HISTORY PROJECT
UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA
In cooperation with The Seminole Tribe of Florida
INTERVIEWEE:
INTERVIEWER:
BESSIE DuBOIS
TOM KING
DATE: December 14, 1973


SUMMARY
In this interview, Mrs. Bessie DuBois, a
resident since 1914 of Jupiter, Florida, talks
about early area history as well as events which
she recollects. Interested in the Seminoles in
Jupiter area history, she relates a few stories
about lighthouse keepers in the 1800s. Captain
Burnham's family was chased from Cape Canaveral
by the Indians, but Captain Armour and his family
had very friendly relations with them. The Indians
salvaged remnants of the 1872 wreck of the Victor.
She also mentions the Indian reaction to the
theft of Tom Tiger Tail's bones, buried near Fort
Pierce.
From her personal recollection, Mrs. DuBois
discusses trading between the Seminoles and whites,
particularly Joe and Frank Bowers. Briefly she
considers Indian dress, segregation, relations
with whites, and population patterns.


INDEX
Armed Occupation Act (1842), 1-2
Armour, Capt. James A. (Jupiter lighthouse keeper), 2, 5
Ashley, John (outlaw), 6, 9
Bedell, Deaconess, 8
Bowers; Frank, 6; Joe, 4-5, 7
Bowlegs, Billy, 3, 7, 10-11
Burnham, Capt. Mills 0. (Cape Canaveral lighthouse keeper), 1-2
Capron, Louis, 5, 8
Depression, effect on Seminoles, 9
DeVane, Albert, 3-4, 6, 10-11
dress, 8
Indiantown, Florida, 4, 6-7
Journey in the Wilderness (history of Jupiter area), 10-11
Kitching, Fennington (Jupiter storekeeper), 4
Moore-Wilson, Minnie, 8
population patterns; Seminole in Jupiter area, 3, 7
religion; missionary, 8
Sturtevant, William C. (Smithsonian Institute), 8
Tiger Tail, Tom (bones dug up in Fort Pierce), 5-6
trade; Indians and white, 4, 6-7, 9
transcultural contacts; segregation, 10
Victor, 1872 wreck of, 2-3, 7-8


K: The following is an interview with Mrs. Bessie DuBois. It was
conducted in her home in Jupiter, Florida at four o'clock in
the afternoon, 14 December, 1973. Mrs. DuBois has been a resident
of Jupiter since 1914. On the reverse side of the tape a
few comments are added by Mrs. DuBois's husband, John DuBois, who
has lived in Jupiter all of his life. Mr. and Mrs. Dubois are
in their early seventies.
D: Captain Burnham [Mills Olcott Burnham] was the keeper of the Cape
Canaveral light. Before he kept the light, he was an armed oc-
cupation settler. And the Indians, because he was a gunsmith, ad-
mired him greatly. He was a man who was and they admired
him greatly. They would come and camp nearby and borrow his pots
and pans, and they would cook for him. They thought the world of
Captain Burnham. But his wife was terrified of those Indians.
So when he would go off on a trip selling turtles up to Charleston,
he would tell them before he left that he would be gone such and
and such a time, and that they were not to come until he came
back. They always waited. And the minute he was back, they
were all back there with them.
Then there came the sad day, of course, when Captain Burnham
was away on one of his trips; and this trader, Barker, he'd been
cheating the Indians--he'd been putting black sand in the gunpowder,
and water in the firewater, so they think. They were so angry with
him that they killed him. And his brother, Russell [Maj. Russell
was his brother-in-law], was so afraid that he was going to be the
next one; I think he was supposed to be. He alarmed all the rest
of the settlers, and told them they were going to be massacred.
He didn't have to work very hard on Mrs. Burnham, she was perfectly
willing to believe him anyway. There was only one schooner up
there, Reuben Pinkham's schooner, and they all got aboard Reuben
Pinkham's schooner and went back up to St. Augustine.
K: What date?
D: I just wrote that article for Tequesta [1973, No. XXXIII], I should
remember that date. Well, it was about 1847, I believe. You see,
they were armed occupation settlers. The Armed Occupation Act was


2
passed in 1842. And I think they were to stay seven years if they
were to prove up on their claims. And they only were there about
five years, so it was around 1847, I would say. I could get my
book out and look it up if you like, but it was about 1847.
They met Captain Burnham in St. Augustine just coming back
from Charleston, but they never went back to their settlement.
But Russell.... The Indians took one parting shot as the schooner
was leaving. Russell was the one they were aiming at, and they
got him in the arm. They were becalmed a couple of days going
up to St. Augustine, and his arm hurt him so badly that he went
down in the cabin looking for something to...and he thought
he'd found a bottle of linament, and it was a bottle of ink. He
rubbed it on his arm, and his arm the next morning was all black.
He decided it was blood poisoning. When he got up to St. Augustine,
he insisted that the doctor up there amputate his arm, and he
did. He didn't want to, but he insisted that arm be amputated.
So he had his arm amputated.
At any rate, the Indians always did like the lighthouse
keepers. Somehow or other they were intrigued. Of course, the
lighthouse keepers were always very friendly to the Indians. I
have a number of letters from Mrs. Bertha Bush, who is Captain
Armour's youngest daughter. Now Captain Armour [James Arango
Armour] was a keeper here at Jupiter Lighthouse. He came here
right after the Civil War and helped them find parts that had
been dismantled during the Civil War by the southern sympathizers.
Whenever the Indians came in, they would always visit Captain
Armour.
When the Victor was wrecked in 1872, seven canoe loads of
Indians appeared on the ocean.At the time the vessel was wrecked,
and the men were down on the beach rescuing the passengers and crew,
seven canoe loads of Indians came. They said they'd been up to
the lighthouse dock, and the men were all gone, and they tried
to tell them what was happening. They finally got a glimmer of
what was going on, so one Indian at a time mounted the steps and
went up to the top of the lighthouse, took a look, said "ugh",
and came down; then another one went up. They didn't all go at
once, just one at a time. They didn't trust that lighthouse.
Then they went down to the ship.
The next day, another Mallory Line steamer came by and
picked up the passengers and crew that were camped on the beach.
They had a signal from the lighthouse, and they managed to pick
them up. But the ship broke up, and the cargo was worth $150,000.


3
All this began to wash ashore.
The Indians camped on the beach, and, of course, the light-
house keepers salvaged everything they could. I know Pierce
salvaged this Wheeler Wilson sewing machine; the Indians were
about to get it, but he got it first. They found Head Plantation
bitters, and there were foodstuffs. They had those feasts down
on the beach, and they could hear them whooping all the way up
to the lighthouse. They had a wonderful time.
When I did a story about the Victor in the Tequesta, I thought
there should be some recollection on the part of the Indians. I
calculated that Billy Bowlegs would be about twelve years old
when this happened in 1872. I talked to Mr. DeVane [Albert DeVane],
and I said, "Mr. DeVane, next time you visit Billy Bowlegs, I want
to know if he has any recollection of the shipwreck of the Victor."
And so, sure enough, he did. He said he didn't come with the people
who came in and salvaged all the stuff, but they came back and
they told him about the ship wreck. He remembers all the different
things they brought in. He mentioned quite a few that were quite
probably things that had been on the ship. So I added that little
bit to it, too. That made the story complete with Billy Bowleg's
story.
K: This raises some interesting questions. I have long wondered how
many of the Indians moved to this part of the state after the
final removal in 1857?
D: Well, someone said that there were only about 50 or 100 Indians
left.
K: The estimates vary, but that's as good an estimate as any.
D: I think Mr. Pickering told me that.
K: Some people estimate 200, and some people estimate 100, and so
on.
D: He only estimated about 100 left; that's what I've always heard.
K: That's the correct figure. Now, how many of them came to this
area of the state, then?
D: When we first came to Jupiter in 1914, the Indians came in all
the time. I know the first day we came to Jupiter, we were living


4
in a house close to the railroad Papa had rented for us, for our
four children. We heard this horrible sound, a dreadful sound,
and so we all came out and ran across the tracks near the general
store over there. These Indians had come in, and they had covered
wagons drawn by oxen. The noise was these razor-back hogs. They
were dragging them out of the wagon, you know, and of course they
can make an awful noise. They were bringing these hogs in. They
had a corral down near the railroad track there. I don't know
whether they were selling them, or just what they were doing with
the hogs. But they brought them in, and they also had a lot of
skins and things that they were trading with Mr. 'Pennington
Kitching, who was our storekeeper there.
Mr. Bowers and all of them traded with the Indians, and they
would carry calico. The Indians never come into Jupiter any more.
I haven't seen any in years come in here. But in those days, they
came frequently; and they would camp out on what is now Center
Street, and in the woods. And they were on very good terms
with all of the storekeepers--very good terms. And of course, Joe
Bowers out at Indiantown;..
Most of them lived at Indiantown. as I understood it, in those
days. And Joe Bowers lived in Indian Town. His brother, you see,
had his store here, so the Indians would come in and trade with
his brother. Of course, he knew them all quite well, too. In
fact I think some of them named their...some of the families are
named after Joe Bowers. Joe had it in his mind that he wanted to
marry one of the Indian girls. He was very devoted to this Indian
girl. And I asked Mr. DeVane about that. I said, "What was the
story about Mr. Joe Bowers?" I knew Joe Bowers quite well too,
of course. He used to be in the store.
He said, "Well, Joe went out, and he wanted to marry this
Indian girl desperately. He went to the elders of the tribe,
and asked their permission to marry this girl. And they said,
no.
"Well," he said, "I'm going to come, and I'm going to live
there so you can see that I can be just as good an Indian as...."
So he came, and he built himself a little chickee, and he
stayed there for about six months. Nobody paid any attention to
him. Finally he gave up, and he didn't marry the Indian girl.
He waited until he was about sixty years old, and then he married
some girl out here--I think she divorced the mayor to marry him.
They had a weeding on horseback, and such a hulabaloo you never
saw. Poor old Joe--that marriage didn't last very long either.


5
Getting back to the lighthouse: I had these letters from Mrs.
Bush, who was Captain Armour's youngest daughter,and she told a
few stories about the early days. She said that the Indians would
appear in the house almost silently. They would come in so quietly...
she said her mother would be in the kitchen, and all of a sudden
she would look up, here'd be this big Indian in his brilliant colors
standing there beside her. She said one time she was in sitting
sewing in her living room, and she looked up, and here was one
Indian. They were always very nice, you know, no difficulty about
their manners or anything, except that they just appeared so
out of the blue, almost. And she said one time the men were
all down at the beach doing something, and this Indian came to
the door. She had never seen him before; he was a stranger. He
got his knife out of his sheath. She said it scared her to death,
but he handed it to her handle first, and his name was carved
on the handle; he wanted her to read his name. So she looked at
it and handed it back to him in the same way. But she said for
a minute or two it scared her to death.
K: I can imagine.
D: But the Indians came quite often to visit with Captain Armour and
were very friendly to him.
K: In your lifetime, can you remember the names of the most pro-
minent Indians that lived in this area--the leaders, the medicine
men, and so on?
D: No, I was just a youngster. Most of the names I've heard later,
Chief Tallahassee and.... I had this woman, and she told me the
most interesting story--Nan Jensen; she lives up in Vero. Her
grandfather was Eli Morgan. Some of the Indians were named for
him.
K: You said Eli Morgan, and I was thinking of the Eli Morgan who
lives out on the reservation. [Brighton Reservation] There
is an old Indian man, Eli Morgan.
D: He's named for her grandfather.
She said that up in Fort Pierce, when they reached the point
they had...I think it was Tom Tiger Tail; I can't remember exactly.
It's sad to say, my memory is getting poorly. This man was buried--
he was a very large Indian--he was buried out there near Fort Pierce.


6
Somebody came down and dug up his bones, and planned to take them
away and exhibit them. The Indians were furious, and.they delivered
an ultimatum. They came into Fort Pierce, and they told them that
if those bones weren't returned to their burial place by a certain
time, the Indians were going on the warpath. They were very, very
decisive about this. So her grandfather went to Washington to see
that that man's bones were returned to their proper burial ground.
K: Now what was her grandfather's name?
D: Eli Morgan.
Now Nan's story was that her grandfather left her with some
neighbors. She said she was out running around in the woods when
she saw some Indians. They were all painted up. Apparently they
were ready to go on the warpath. Her story was that she thought
she was the last person to ever have seen the Seminoles in war
paint. She was very excited over that.
K: About when was that?
D: I'm sorry, I can't tell you that date. I know Nan would love to
talk to you, because she knew quite a bit about the Seminoles.
But Mr. DeVane wasn't entirely satisfied that she remembered
correctly. He took issue with her on some of her recollections.
But Mr. Capron [Louis Capron] was very much interested in her
story.
K: Have there been any other instances of conflicts between the
Seminoles and the whites during the twentieth century that you
have either heard about, or that you have personal recollection
of?
D: Well of course there's the story of John Ashley, who was supposed
to have killed one of the Indians and robbed him of his furs. No,
I can't recall any conflict. They've always seemed to get along.
Of course, the people that we knew back in the old days were all
old-timers, and in some way or other they had known the Indians
off and on for years in some connection. Like Bowers, for instance,
Frank Bowers. His brother had this grove out at Indiantowni. and
the Indians knew him and were friendly to him. They came in and
they traded at his store.
John [John DuBois] loves to tell a story of them getting the
lard. They would have a can--a pail or something--to put it in.
He'd put it in the can, you know, and the Indian put his hand in


7
and would push it down until he had it smashed down flat, and
then he would have him fill it up some more.
You know the story about Billy Bowlegs. Somebody asked
him how the weather was going to be--if there was.going to be
a hurricane. And he said that the picture tube had blown out on
his TV, and he couldn't tell them anymore.
They would come in, and they never paid the whole bill at
once. They'd lay a dollar down; they'd lay another dollar down.
They'd keep on laying them down one dollar at a time until they'd
paid the whole bill.
After I moved over here to the inlet, I didn't see very much
of the Indians any more. And they didn't come into town after Joe
Bowers died. They moved further out to Okeechobee. Of course,
there's another group down at Dania.
K: It's my understanding that the group of Indians who moved to
Lake Okeechobee, or to the Brighton area, to the western shore
of Lake Okeechobee....
D: Weren't they Miccosukees?
K: No, I don't believe so.
D: Well, they wanted to be more to themselves than the group that
went down to Dania.
K: Why did they move to the west coast of Lake Okeechobee?
D: Some of them didn't care to be around white people. They didn't
care too much for the white people, and they didn't care to be
around them.
K: They thought it was getting too crowded around Indiantownn.
D: Probably did, I don't know, but they wished to be off by them-
selves. The ones down in Dania were living right there where
tourists were continually coming around, and I should think that
would get very tiresome too, but I expect that they made more
money. That wasn't a very pleasant situation for people who
didn't care for white people anyway.
K: Do you know whether or not the Seminoles who came into the Fort
Pierce, Stuart and Jupiter areas were primarily Cow Creeks, or
were they Miccosukees?


8
D: I asked Mr. Capron about the ones that came into the shipwreck
of the Victor, and he seemed to think they were Cow Creek Indians.
Now Mr. Sturtevant [William C. Sturtevant, an anthropologist
associated with the Smithsonian Institute] came down here one
time, and we had a very pleasant visit with him. Of course, his
main problem was to find out what had become of the aboriginal
Indians, whether they had been adopted into the Seminole tribes,
or gone over to the Bahamas, or what had become of the aboriginal
Indians. I don't know what his conclusion was, but that was his
project.
When they first come to Jupiter, they didn't wear trousers;
they always just wore the long shirts that came down to their knees.
The women wore the long dresses, and wore all those beads in those
days. I don't see how in the world they could stand wearing these.
They were straight from their chin right down to their chest, just
strings and strings and strings of beads.
K: Did the women's clothing styles change any?
D: Well, I don't recall that thing that they...they had on kind
of a hat brim that their hair was pulled over. Now that is a
later style, in my opinion, because when they used to come into
Jupiter, they didn't wear that--their hair wasn't done in that
fashion. It was just done up with kind of a....
K: Do you know if there was much missionary activity in this area?
D: Not that I know of. Of course, the missionary activity was mostly
down around...well, Deaconess Bedell and her work. Minnie Moore-
Wilson worked among the Indians too. You've seen her book, I'm
sure, because I have a couple of them over there I brought out.
Well, I have one copy of the Red Patriot [Red Patriots], which
I gather.... Afterwards, Mr. Coe said, "Why didn't you buy my
copy of Red Patriot?
I said, "Well, I had no idea you would even dream of selling
your father's book."
I have bought quite a few books from Mr. Coe; very kind about
letting me buy them from him. I haven't got a terrific lot of
material on the Seminoles. I have Mr. Mahon's book [The Second
Seminole War, by John K. Mahon], and the other book. I have
books that were written by Mrs. Minnie Moore-Wilson. And then
we have some pictures. As I say, most of my material is on the
Jupiter area, 'round here.
K: I'd like an opinion on your part on just how badly the Seminoles


9
were affected by the Depression. Did they continue to trade in
this area; did they continue to bring things in?
D: Now you're getting into the '26, '27, '28, '29, along in there.
K: 1930, around in there.
D: Yes. No, I don't recall that they.... I would think the
Depression would affect them less than anybody I know of, because
they had learned to subsist in their own way out there. I would
think that they wouldn't be affected by the Depression nearly as
much as the people around the coast.
K: How heavily did they become in the plume, fur, and hide trade?
How much did they depend on that for subsistence?
D: I couldn't tell you that either. I know when John Ashley
killed this Indian, he had quite a few hides and plumes that
he was bringing to market. I know that when they came into
Jupiter to trade, they would bring these things in. The store-
keepers would ship them up to the dealers who dealt in furs.- They
would trade with them, and give them staples and calico and things
that they needed in return for...I don't know whether they paid
them money or not, but I know they did trade with them.
K: Did the market for furs and plumes dry up when the Depression
came?
D: Well, I wouldn't know about that. I know we had the trapper
here in Jupiter for years, and he would trap, and he had no
trouble selling his furs. So I suppose that there was a market
right along.
K: Were there ever any permanent Seminole camps in this area?
D: Not that I know of. They would come up on these trips; they
would come quite a distance in the canoes to Jupiter. If
there were any permanent camps, they were here before my time.
I think maybe you ought to talk to my husband, because he was
actually born here. He was seventy-five in June, and he was
raised here. I came down here in 1914. So while I have studied
a lot of the history, I'm not one of the real pioneers. A lot
of the things that you'd have to remember, I can't recall.


10
K: Perhaps you can tell me something about the way that the Seminoles
were treated by the white townspeople? I'm particularly inter-
ested in whether or not there was any form of segregation.
D: The Indians segregated themselves. They didn't care to be taken
into people's homes, although there's a story goes.... Up in
Jupiter Island, they used to come up there, and Captain Reed would
tell in his story about how they'd come in and they'd stay to
dinner. His mother would make him go down and take a wash before
she served his dinner. They say he was kind of a little rich, but
anyway, he did tell that in his history of Jupiter Island. He
mentions Billy Bowlegs coming in. Of course, you're probably
well acquainted with his Journey in the Wilderness. A story
of the Battle of the Loxahatchee--Sunderman's story, Motte's
story. That's our story around Jupiter here, you know. It
was published by University of Florida, and it tells about
Jessup [Maj. Gen. Thomas S. Jessup], and about Fort Jupiter--
about the Indians being captured and brought in. He wrote to
Washington and begged them to let the Indians stay here. I
think Jessup maybe is not treated too kindly in history because
of course he did take in Osceola under the flag of truce. But
he did write to Washington and beg them to let the Indians stay
here in Florida. He couldn't understand why they should hound
them out and treat them so. He got the letter back ordering
him to send them west. He wasn't going to be allowed to leave
them here. Of course he said that it was more humane to gather
them in the way he did than to go out and hunt them down in the
woods again, let them scatter all over. So he brought them all
in, and of course then they were shipped out west from here.
A lot happened here at Jupiter during the Seminole War, and
we don't hear very much about it in history books. To my mind,
that Journey in the Wilderness is the best thing we have here
about our Jupiter history, about the Seminoles.
K: Earlier, you mentioned that Billy Bowlegs told either you or
Mr. DeVane about....
D: He told me. Mr. DeVane brought Billy Bowlegs over to one of
the marker ceremonies, and he wanted a place for him to change
his clothes. John took him out to one of the little cottages
for him to change clothes, and then he came in. He wanted
to get himself up in full regalia for this affair. After he had


11
changed his clothes, he came in and he sat in there on the
sofa in the living room--that was in the other house before we
came down here, of course. Then he told me that his grandmother
had been captured at Jupiter. He told Mr. DeVane to tell me.
Mr. DeVane said, "Billy Bowlegs wants me to tell you that his
grandmother was captured at Jupiter."
K: And how did she escape?
D: Well, she escaped during the ball game. They asked for one
last ball game, and I thank you'll find that in the Journey
in the Wilderness, too. He says that they had one last game
of ball. During this last game of ball some of the Indians es-
caped. His grandmother was one of them. I thought this was an
interesting bit.
We always enjoyed having Billy Bowlegs come. And I thought
that it was a wonderful thing for some of these youngsters in
Jupiter. He was brought out and introduced, of course. And
to recall now that they had seen Billy Bowlegs.


Full Text

PAGE 1

SOUTHEASTERN INDIAN ORAL HISTORY PROJECT UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA In cooperation with The Seminole Tribe of Florida INTERVIEWEE: BESSIE DuBOIS INTERVIEWER: TOM KING DATE: December 14, 1973

PAGE 2

SUMMARY In this interview, Mrs. Bessie DuBois, a resident since 1914 of Jupiter, Florida, talks about early area history as well as events which she recollects. Interested in the Seminoles in Jupiter area history, she relates a few stories about lighthouse keepers in the 1800s. Captain Burnham's family was chased from Cape Canaveral by the Indians, but Captain Armour and his family had very friendly relations with them. The Indians salvaged remnants of the 1872 wreck of the Victor. She also mentions the Indian reaction to the theft of Tom Tiger Tail's bones, buried near Fort Pierce. From her personal recollection, Mrs. DuBois discusses trading between the Seminoles and whites, particularly Joe and Frank Bowers. Briefly she considers Indian dress, segregation, relations with whites, and population patterns.

PAGE 3

INDEX Armed Occupation Act (1842), 1-2 Armour, Capt. James A. (Jupiter lighthouse keeper), 2, 5 Ashley, John (outlaw), 6, 9 Bedell, Deaconess, 8 Bowers; Frank, 6; Joe, 4-5, 7 Bowlegs, Billy, 3, 7, 10-11 Burnham, Capt. Mills O. (Cape Canaveral lighthouse keeper), 1-2 Capron, Louis, 5, 8 Depression, effect on Seminoles, 9 DeVane, Albert, 3-4, 6, 10-11 dress, 8 Indiantown, Florida, 4, 6-7 Journey in the Wilderness (history of Jupiter area), 10-11 Kitching, Fennington (Jupiter storekeeper), 4 Moore-Wilson, Minnie, 8 population patterns; Seminole in Jupiter area, 3, 7 religion; missionary, 8 Sturtevant, William C. (Smithsonian Institute), 8 Tiger Tail, Tom (bones dug up in Fort Pierce), 5-6 trade; Indians and white, 4, 6-7, 9 transcultural contacts; segregation, 10 Victor, 1872 wreck of, 2-3, 7-8

PAGE 4

,-------------------------------------------------------------------K: The following is an interview with Mrs. Bessie DuBois. It was conducted in her home in Jupiter, Florida at four o'clock in the afternoon, 14 December, 1973. Mrs. DuBois has been a res ident of Jupiter since 1914. On the reverse side of the tape a few comments are added by Mrs. DuBois' s husban':
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2 passed in 1842. And I think they were to stay seven years if they were to prove up on their claims. And they only were there about five years, so it was around 1847, I would say. I could get my book out and look it up if you like, but it was about 1847. They met Captain Burnham in St. Augustine just coming back from Charleston, but they never went back to their settlement. But Russell The Indians took one parting shot as the schooner was leaving. Russell was the one they were aiming at, and they got him in the arm. They were becalmed a couple of days going up to St. Augustine, and his arm hurt him so badly that he went down in the cabin looking for something to and he thought he'd found a bottle of linament, and it was a bottle of ink. He rubbed it on his arm, and his arm the next morning was all black. He decided it was blood poisoning. When he got up to St. Augustine, he insisted that the doctor up there amputate his arm, and he did. He didn't want to, but he insisted that arm be amputated. So he had his arm amputated. At any rate, the Indians always did like the lighthouse keepers. Somehow or other they were intrigued. Of course, the lighthouse keepers were always very friendly to the Indians. I have a number of letters from Mrs. Bertha Bush, who is Captain Armour's youngest daughter. Now Captain Armour [James Arango Armour] was a keeper here at Jupiter Lighthouse. He came here right after the Civil War and helped them find parts that had been dismantled during the Civil War by the southern sympathizers. Whenever the Indians came in, they would always visit Captain Armour. When the Victor was wrecked in 1872, seven canoe loads of Indians appeared on the ocean.At the time the vessel was wrecked, and the men were down on the beach rescuing the passengers and crew, seven canoe loads of Indians came. They said they'd been up to the lighthouse dock, and the men were all gone, and they tried to tell them what was happening. They finally got a glimmer of what was going on, so one Indian at a time mounted the steps and went up to the top of the lighthouse, took a look, said, "ugh", and came down; then another one went up. They didn't all go at once, just one at a time. They didn't trust that lighthouse. Then they went down to the ship. The next day, another Mallory Line steamer came by and picked up the passengers and crew that were camped on the beach. They had a signal from the lighthouse, and they managed to pick them up. But the ship broke up, and the cargo was worth $150,000.

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3 All this began to wash ashore. The Indians camped on the beach, and, of course, the light house keepers salvaged everything they could. I know Pierce salvaged this Wheeler Wilson sewing machine; the Indians were about to get it, but he got it first. They found Head Plantation bitters, and there were foodstuffs. They had those feasts down on the beach, and they could hear them whooping all the way up to the lighthouse. They had a wonderful time. When I did a story about the Victor in the Tequesta, I thought there should be some recollection on the part of the Indians. I calculated that Billy Bowlegs would be about twelve years old when this happened in 1872. I talked to Mr. DeVane [Albert DeVane], and I said, "Mr. DeVane, next time you visit Billy Bowlegs, I want to know if he has any recollection of the shipwreck of the Victor." And so, sure enough, he did. He said he didn't come with the people who came in and salvaged all the stuff, but they came back and they told him about the ship wreck. He remembers all the different things they brought in. He mentioned quite a few that were quite probably things that had been on the ship. So I added that little bit to it, too. That made the story complete with Billy Bowleg's story. K: This raises some interesting questions. I have long wondered how many of the Indians moved to this part of the state after the final removal in 1857? D: Well, someone said that there were only about 50 or 100 Indians left. K: The estimates vary, but that's as good an estimate as any. D: I think Mr. Pickering told me that. K: Some people estimate 200, and some people estimate 100, and so on. D: He only estimated about 100 left; that's what I've always heard. K: That's the correct figure. Now, how many of them came to this area of the state, then? D: When we first came to Jupiter in 1914, the Indians came in all the time. I know the first day we came to Jupiter, we were living

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4 in a house close to the railroad Papa had rented for us, for our four children. We heard this horrible sound, a dreadful sound, and so we all came out and ran across the tracks near the general store over there. These Indians had come in, and they had covered wagons drawn by oxen. The noise was these razor-back hogs. They were dragging them out of the wagon, you know, and of course they can make an awful noise. They were bringing these hogs in. They had a corral down near the railroad track there. I don't know whether they were selling them, or just what they were doing with the hogs. But they brought them in, and they also had a lot of skins and things that they were trading with Mr. 'Pennington Kitching, who was our storekeeper there. Mr. Bowers and all of them traded with the Indians, and they would carry calico. The Indians never come into Jupiter any more. I haven't seen any in years come in here. But in those days, they came frequently; and they would camp out on what is now Center Street, and in the woods. And they were on very good terms with all of the storekeepers--very good terms. And of course, Joe Bowers out at Indiantown;. Most of them lived at Indiantown~ as I understood it, in those days. And Joe Bowers lived in Indian Town. His brother, you see, had his store here, so the Indians would come in and trade with his brother. Of course, he knew them all quite well, too. In fact I think some of them named their ... some of the families are named after Joe Bowers. Joe had it in his mind that he wanted to marry one of the Indian girls. He was very devoted to this Indian girl. And I asked Mr. De Vane about that. I said, "What was the story about Mr. Joe Bowers?" I knew Joe Bowers quite w_ell too, of course. He used to be in the store. He said, "Well, Joe went out, and he wanted to marry this Indian girl desperately. He went to the elders of the tribe, and asked their permission to marry this girl. And they said, no. "Well," he said, "I'm going to come, and I'm going to live there so you can see that I can be just as good an Indian as " So he came, and he built himself a little chickee, and he stayed there for about six months. Nobody paid any attention to him. Finally he gave up, and he didn't marry the Indian girl. He waited until he was about sixty years old, and then he married some girl out here--I think she divorced the mayor to marry him. They had a weeding on horseback, and such a hulabaloo you never saw. Poor old Joe--that marriage didn't last very long either.

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5 Getting back to the lighthouse: I had these letters from Mrs. Bush, who was Captain Armour's_youngest .. dayghter,and she told a few stories about the early days. She said that the Indians would appear in the house almost silently. They would come in so quietly she said her mother would be in the kitchen, and all of a sudden she would look up, here'd be this big Indian in his brilliant colors standing there beside her. She said one time she was in sitting sewing in her living room, and she looked up, and here was one Indian. They were always very nice, you know, no difficulty about their manners or anything, except that they just appeared so out of the blue, almost. And she said one time the men were all down at the beach doing something, and this Indian came to the door. She had never seen him before; he was a stranger. He got his knife out of his sheath. She said it scared her to death, but he handed it to her handle first, and his name was carved on the handle; he wanted her to read his name. So she looked at it and handed it back to him in the same way. But she said for a minute or two it scared her to death. K: I can imagine. D: But the Indians came quite often to visit with Captain Armour and were very friendly to him. K: In your lifetime, can you remember the names of the most pro minent Indians that lived in this area--the leaders, the medicine men, and so on? D: No, I was just a youngster. Most of the names I've heard later, Chief Tallahassee and ...• I had this woman, and she told me the most interesting story--Nan Jensen; she lives up in Vero. Her grandfather was Eli Morgan. Some of the Indians were named for him. K: You said Eli Morgan, and I was thinking of the Eli Morgan who lives out on the reservation. [Brighton Reservation] There is an old Indian man, Eli Morgan. D: He's named for her grandfather. She said that up in Fort Pierce, when they reached the point they had I think it was Tom Tiger Tail; I can't remember exactly. It's sad to say, my memory is getting poorly. This man was buriedhe was a very large Indian--he was buried out there near Fort Pierce.

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6 Somebody came down and dug up his bones, and planned to take them away and exhibit them. The Indians were furious, and they delivered an ultimatum. They came into Fort Pierce, and they told them that if those bones weren't returned to their burial place by a certain time, the Indians were going on the warpath. They were very, very decisive about this. So her grandfather went to Washington to see that that man's bones were returned to their proper burial ground. K: Now what was her grandfather's name? D: Eli Morgan. Now Nan's story was that her grandfather left her with some neighbors. She said she was out running around in the woods when she saw some Indians. They were all painted up. Apparently they were ready to go on the warpath. Her story was that she thought she was the last person to ever have seen the Seminoles in war paint. She was very excited over that. K: About when was that? D: I'm sorry, I can't tell you that date. I know Nan would love to talk to you, because she knew quite a bit about the Seminoles. But Mr. Devane wasn't entirely satisfied that she remembered correctly. He took issue with her on some of her recollections. But Mr. Capron [Louis Capron] was very much interested in her story. K: Have there been any other instances of conflicts between the Seminoles and the whites during the twentieth century that you have either heard about, or that you have personal recollection of? D: Well of course there's the story of John Ashley, who was supposed to have killed one of the Indians and robbed him of his furs. No, I can't recall any conflict. They've always seemed to get along. Of course, the people that we knew back in the old days were all old-timers, and in some way or other they had known the Indians off and on for years in some connection. Like Bowers, for instance, Frank Bowers. His brother had this grove out at Indiantbwri, 1 ._ and the Indians knew him and were friendly to him. They came in and they traded at his store. John [John DuBois] loves to tell a story of them getting the lard. They would have a can--a pail or something--to put it in. He'd put it in the can, you know, and the Indian put his hand in

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7 and would push it down until he had it smashed down flat, and then he would have him fill it up some more. You know the story about Billy Bowlegs. Somebody asked him how the weather was going to be--if there was .going to be a hurricane. And he said that the picture tube had blown out on his TV, and he couldn't tell them anymore. They would come in, and they never paid the whole bill at once. They'd lay a dollar down; they'd lay another dollar down. They'd keep on laying them down one dollar at a time until they'd paid the whole bill. After I moved over here to the inlet, I didn't see very much of the Indians any more. And they didn't come into town after Joe Bowers died. They moved further out to Okeechobee. Of course, there's another group down at Dania. K: It's my understanding that the group of Indians who moved to Lake Okeechobee, or to the Brighton area, to the western shore of Lake Okeechobee D: Weren't they Miccosukees? K: No, I don't believe so. D: Well, they wanted to be more to themselves than the group that went down to Dania. K: Why did they move to the west coast of Lake Okeechobee? D: Some of them didn't care to be around white people. They didn't care too much for the white people, and they didn't care to be around them. K: They thought it was getting too crowded around Indiantown'?D: Probably did, I don't know, but they wished to be off by them selves. The ones down in Dania were living right there where tourists were continually coming around, and I should think that would get very tiresome too, but I expect that they made more money. That wasn't a very pleasant situation for people who didn't care for white people anyway. K: Do you know whether or not the Seminoles who came into the Fort Pierce, Stuart and Jupiter areas were primarily Cow Creeks, or were they Miccosukees?

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8 D: I asked Mr. Capron about the ones that came into the shipwreck of the Victor, and he seemed to think they were Cow Creek Indians. Now Mr. Sturtevant [William C. Sturtevant, an anthropologist associated with the Smithsonian Institute] came down here one time, and we had a very pleasant visit with him. Of course, his main problem was to find out what had become of the aboriginal Indians, whether they had been adopted into the Seminole tribes, or gone over to the Bahamas, or what had become of the aboriginal Indians. I don't know what his conclusion was, but that was his project. When they first come to Jupiter, they didn't wear trousers; they always just wore the long shirts that came down to their knees. The women wore the long dresses, and wore all those beads in those days. I don't see how in the world they could stand wearing these. They were straight from their chin right down to their chest, just strings and strings and strings of beads. K: Did the women's clothing styles change any? D: Well, I don't recall that thing that they ..• they had on kind of a hat brim that their hair was pulled over. Now that is a later style, in my opinion, because when they used to come into Jupiter, they didn't wear that--their hair wasn't done in that fashion. It was just done up with kind of a K: Do you know if there was much missionary activity in this area? D: Not that I know of. Of course, the missionary activity was mostly down around well, Deaconess Bedell and her work. Minnie Moore Wilson worked among the Indians too. You've seen her book, I'm sure, because I have a couple of them over there I brought out. Well, I have one copy of the Red Patriot [Red Patriots], which I gather Afterwards, Mr. coe said, "Why -didn't you buy my copy of Red Patriot? I said, "Well, I had no idea you would even dream of selling your father's book." I have bought quite a few books from Mr. Coe; very kind about letting me buy them from him. I haven't got a terrific lot of material on the Seminoles. I have Mr. Mahon's book [The Second Seminole War, by John K. Mahon], and the other book. I have books that were written by Mrs. Minnie Moore-Wilson. And then we have some pictures. As I say, most of my material is on the Jupiter area, 'round here. K: I'd like an opinion on your part on just how badly the Seminoles

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9 were affected by the Depression. Did they continue to trade in this area; did they continue to bring things in? D: Now you're getting into the '26, '27, '28, '29, along in there. K: 1930, around in there. D: Yes. No, I don't recall that they I would think the Depression would affect them less than anybody I know of, because they had learned to subsist in their own way out there. I would think that they wouldn't be affected by the Depression nearly as much as the people around the coast. K: How heavily did they become in the plume, fur, and hide trade? How much did they depend on that for subsistence? D: I couldn't tell you that either. I know when John Ashley killed this Indian, he had quite a few hides and plumes that he was bringing to market. I know that when they came into Jupiter to trade, they would bring these things in. The store keepers would ship them up to the dealers who dealt in furs.They would trade with them, and give them staples and calico and things that they needed in return for •.. I don't know whether they paid them money or not, but I know they did trade with them. K: Did the market for furs and plumes dry up when the Depression came? D: Well, I wouldn't know about that. I know we had the trapper here in Jupiter for years, and he would trap, and he had no trouble selling his furs. So I suppose that there was a market right along. K: Were there ever any permanent Seminole camps in this area? D: Not that I know of. They would come up on these trips; they would come quite a distance in the canoes to Jupiter. If there were any permanent camps, they were here before my time. I think maybe you ought to talk to my husband, because he was actually born here. He was seventy-five in June, and he was raised here. I came down here in 1914. So while I have studied a lot of the history, I'm not one of the real pioneers. A lot of the things that you'd have to remember, I can't recall.

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10 K: Perhaps you can tell me something about the way that the Seminoles were treated by the white townspeople? I'm particularly inter ested in whether or not there was any form of segregation. D: The Indians segregated themselves. They didn't care to be taken into people's homes, although there's a story goes Up in Jupiter Island, they used to come up there, and Captain Reed would tell in his story about how they'd come in and they'd stay to dinner. His mother would make him go down and take a wash before she served his dinner. They say he was kind of a little rich, but anyway, he did tell that in his history of Jupiter Island. He mentions Billy Bowlegs coming in. Of course, you're probably well acquainted with his Journey in the Wilderness. A story of the Battle of the Loxahatchee--Sunderman's story, Motte~s story. That's our story around Jupiter here, you know. It was published by University of Florida, and it tells about Jessup [Maj. Gen. Thomas S. Jessup], and about Fort Jupiterabout the Indians being captured and brought in. He wrote to Washington and begged them to let the Indians stay here. I think Jessup maybe is not treated too kindly in history because of course he did take in Osceola under the flag of truce. But he did write to Washington and beg them to let the Indians stay here in Florida. He couldn't understand why they should hound them out and treat them so. He got the letter back ordering him to send them west. He wasn't going to be allowed to leave them here. Of course he said that it was more humane to gather them in the way he did than to go out and hunt them down in the woods again, let them scatter all over. So he brought them all in, and of course then they were shipped out west from here. A lot happened here at Jupiter during the Seminole War, and we don't hear very much about it in history books. To my mind, that Journey in the Wilderness is the best thing we have here about our Jupiter history, about the Seminoles. K: Earlier, you mentioned that Billy Bowlegs told either you or Mr. DeVane about D: He told me. Mr. DeVane brought Billy Bowlegs over to one of the marker ceremonies, and he wanted a place for him to change his clothes. John took him out to one of the little cottages for him to change clothes, and then he came in. He wanted to get himself up in full regalia for this affair. After he had

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11 changed his clothes, he came in and he sat in there on the sofa in the living room--that was in the other house before we came down here, of course. Then he told me that his grandmother had been captured at Jupiter. He told Mr. DeVane to tell me. Mr. DeVane said, "Billy Bowlegs wants me to tell you that his grandmother was captured at Jupiter." J-<: And how did she escape? D: Well, she escaped during the ball game. They asked for one last ball game, and I thank you'll find that in the Journey in the Wilderness, too. He says that they had one last game of ball. During this last game of ball some of the Indians es caped. His grandmother was one of them. I thought this was an interesting bit. We always enjoyed having Billy Bowlegs come. And I thought that it was a wonderful thing for some of these youngsters in Jupiter. He was brought out and introduced, of course. And to recall now that they had seen Billy Bowlegs.