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Interview with W. Stanley Hanson, Jr., June 25, 1975

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Title:
Interview with W. Stanley Hanson, Jr., June 25, 1975
Creator:
Hanson, W. Stanley, Jr. ( 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/.
Resource Identifier:
SEM 140 ( 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: W. Stanley Hanson, Jr.
INTERVIEWER: Dr. John Mahon
With occasional comments by Mrs. Hanson
DATE: June 25, 1975


SUMMARY
W. Stanley Hanson, Sr. was trusted and highly re-
spected by the Seminoles even to the point of being in-
vited to sit as a medicine man at the Green Corn Dance
trial of Josie Billie. In this interview, his son, W.
Stanley Hanson, Jr. relates several incidents involving
his father and the Seminoles in the early 1900s. ,Mr. Hanson, Jr.
also has several stories of his own to tell.
Particularly he discusses: the Green Corn Dance, his
friend Leek-a-lee; food, dress, games, language, and
health of the Seminoles; and the Seminole Indian Village
at the 1933 Chicago World's Fair.


INDEX
Billie, Ingraham, 12-13
Billie, Josie, 11-14
cattle (proscription), 29
chickees, 25-26
dress (Seminole), 20-21
Edison, Thomas, 3, 23
Ford, Henry, 23, 25
food (Seminole), 9-10
games (Seminole), 14-15
Godden, William J., Dr., 13
Green Corn Dance, 5-6, 10-12, 14-16, 28-30
Hanson, W. Stanley, Sr., 3-7, 9, 11-12, 19, 23
health; medicine, 6, 8-9
languages (Miccosukee; English), 21-23
Leek-a-Lee (Hanson's Indian friend), 16-19
Mitchell, Bob, 3, 13, 18
Osceola, Chief, 19
Seminole Indian Association of Florida (members of, 1913), 1-3
snakes (Seminole attitude toward), 9
stealing (Seminole attitude toward), 10-11
traders (early white), 24-25
twins (Seminole attitude toward), 24-25
World's Fair Seminole Indian Village, 26-27


M: [This interview is between] W. Stanley Hanson, Jr., and me, John
K. Mahon in Fort Myers at his home on June 25, 1975.
I went over and looked up what we had in the P. K. Yonge
Library of [Florida] History [at the University of Florida] on
your father, and I noticed that he was a founder of the Seminole
Indian Association of Florida, back in 1913. And it listed some
of the other members. I'd like to read them off to you, and ask
if any of these people are living that you know of.
H: All right, but that was founded the year before I was born.
M: Captain F. A. Henry, he's not living....
H: No, he's dead and gone.
M: Do you remember him at all?
H: No, I don't. I know of him.
M: E. T. Raymond, who it says lived at Owanita. Do you remember him
or ever hear of him?
H: Yes, I know of him.
M: Is he still living?
H: No, I'm sure he's dead. Some of his uh, decendants are in Fort Myers, though.
M: W. J. Godden, Glades Cross, do you remember him?
H: Godden, I believe was a Dr. Godden.
M: How about A. H. Andrews of Estero?
H: He was editor of the American Eagle for that community and Southwest Florida. He's been dead many years.
M: Did you know him ever?
H: Oh yes, I knew him very well.
M: And W. B. Winkler?


2
H: He was the local doctor. He brought me into this world.
M: So you knew him also after you got conscious?
H: Yes, very well.
M: He's gone now, no doubt.
H: I don't know how long he's been dead, but it's been many years.
M: T. A. Ruhl, do you know him or of him?
H: I knew of a Dan Ruhl, and he may have been a brother to Dan or
some other kin.
M: Julia Hanson?
H: That was my grandmother.
M: C. Q. Stuart?
H: Cy Stuart? He's still living in Fort Myers. And he's an attorney.
M: How old a man is he?
H: I'd say between eighty-five and ninety. Still in his office,
practicing law.
M: For heaven's sakes. A. H. Roberts? I guess these are all Fort
Myers people.
H: I don't place A. H. Roberts.
M: You don't place him?
H: It may have been the Roberts that had the Seminole Lumber Company
here.
M: J. E. Yelvington?
H: He's dead and gone.
M: How about J. B. Tippens?
H: F. B. He was sheriff of Lee County, and a United States Marshal
in Tampa later. And he's dead and gone.


3
M: And J. E. Brecht is dead, isn't he?
H: Yes, he was a former postmaster here for many years.
M: N. G. Stout?
H: He was a county judge and he's dead and gone.
M: R. A. Henderson, Sr.?
H: He used to have a grocery store here.
M: E. A. Carlton?
H: Yes, I knew him, but he's dead and gone.
M: And J. B. Porter?
H: I don't recall him.
M: So of all these, there's only one of them still living, which
is to say C. Q. Stuart.
H: Cy Stuart, yes.
M: Was that association [Seminole Indian Association] still in being
when you were...?
H: It was operating. Fact is, I believe it's still in existence
and in operation. I think Bob Mitchell of Orlando is involved
with it now.
My father was born in Key West on November 27, 1883. Lee
County was then a part of Monroe County, and Key West was the
county seat. And the communications were by boat. They used
to bring supplies in by boat from there, and my grandfather, who
was first practicing physician in Fort Myers to the best of my
knowledge, moved up to Fort Myers in 1884 when my father was
six-months old. Which happened to be the same year that Thomas
Edison moved to Fort Myers. My grandfather became his physician
and surgeon, and took care of him when he was here until the
time my grandfather died in about 1910.
During the period of my grandfather's practice the Indians
took a liking to him, had confidence in him, came in and were
treated by him. The small Indians or the children came in with
them, and my father and the small children used to play together,
and they grew up knowing each other. That's how he got established


4
with them. And as time went on, they had a trust and confidence
in my father which was contrary to their natural suspicion of
the white man that they had had over the years.
For many years the Indians used to come to Fort Myers to
trade hides and buy supplies--calicos and sewing machines, beads
and what have you. And the only place I've ever known them to
stay when they came to Fort Myers was to camp in our back yard,
on Monroe Street. We always found them to be very trustworthy,
and never known to steal. I've gotten up in the morning and found
maybe up to twenty-five Indians that came in during the night and
camped in our yard. We have gone off and left our place and the
house unlocked for a period of one to two weeks and never found
anything missing. We would tell them when we'd be back--and we
used to keep chickens in the back yard at that time--tell them
they could have the eggs and stuff until we got back, and before
we got back they would start saving the eggs for us. They would
come and go, and eventually they built a couple of Indian chickees
where they used to camp, so they didn't have to sleep under mos-
quito-flies.
That's basically how my father got close to them, and then
he used to be in the woods a lot, visit with them. And he acted
as an agent for them on occasion to help them find work, and he
would locate them sometimes in places that wanted to put on ex-
hibits. Sometimes they'd set up an Indian camp. For instance,
in the late twenties in St. Petersburg, Mr. Boutin of Southern
Tours would probably have twenty to twenty-five Indians up there
at a time as an attraction. They built Indian chickees and he
would arrange for different ones to travel back and forth up
there so that this tourist attraction could operate, and at the
same time provide money for the Indians.
I would say in the late '20s the first Sara De Soto Pageant
was held [in Sarasota, Fla.] and he took a group up there. John
Ringling and a few of the circus people came down, set up a place
for them to stay--that is they drove stakes and put a roped in
enclosure so it would keep the people from coming in and molest-
ing them or bothering them. And John Ringling was out there driv-
ing the stakes with the roustabouts. It was quite interesting.
The bus that took them up stopped at our place in Estero and the
Indians got a bunch of grapefruit to take up. One Indian was
standing over near the rope enclosure peeling a grapefruit to eat;
somebody came up to him and said, "Do you speak English?" He said,
"No."
The women generally weren't allowed to learn English. The
men were the only ones that learned it, because they wanted to
keep the women out of contact with the white man as much as pos-
sible.


5
We used to go down to the Green Corn Dance of the Cypress
Indians nearly every year. I say we--father used to go I guess
every year for all practical purposes. And very often he'd take
my mother and my sister and myself with him, and Milton Thompson
used to come with us very often. Milton was living with us at
the time. They always held it during a period known as "the lit-
tle moon in June," and it was usually very deep in the Everglades,
isolated where they wouldn't have unwanted visitors and where
they'd have privacy for their ceremonies. Several days preceding
the Green Corn Dance they would send up smoke signals at noon
so that the other Indians could set a course for the site of
the Green Corn Dance. I remember when we were traveling by Model
"T" Ford, that we could see the column of smoke in the air way
off in the distance, that is, many miles (say thirty miles or
more).
M: I never heard that before.
H: I don't know whether they did it all the time or just when the
weather was right for a column of smoke, but I can remember al-
most like a straight finger of smoke up in the air. My father
told me that's what it was and where it was, and we would head
for it. It was usually at least a two days. trip from Fort Myers,
because traveling through the woods and swamps was slow. We'd
usually camp out on the way, and sometimes maybe twice. They'd
usually hold it on an island in a cypress head or hammock. You
would hardly know there was anything there; you might go through
water getting in to it. If you were traveling on what was known
as an ox trail or ox cart trail, the stumps were cut too high
for a Model "T" and you had a lot of chopping to do to get in.
This Green Corn Dance would last, I'd say, five to seven
days, during which time they would have their dances and visits,
and if they had any trials to be held, the medicine man would
hold the trials and their sentences would be executed. And at
the end of that time, they would go through something similar
to our New Year's, where they would wipe the slate clean and
start the new year fresh. They would go through a day of fasting,
and then they would purge themselves with emetics, and vomit.
Then they would make a little tent, maybe four feet high covered
with buckskin. They would heat rocks and put them in a hole under
the tent, and the--I don't remember the women or children doing
this--but the men would get in the tent one at a time and pour
water on the hot rocks and get a steam bath. This caused them
to sweat, and was part of their cleansing ritual. Another part
of the ceremony was scratching their arms with needles, most of
the men. You could see white scratch marks running up and down


6
their arms where they were scratched in the ceremony. After
the scratching and the cleansing operation, then they'd have a
big feast--everybody'd eat. There was some drinking there--the
Indians grew some sugar cane and they would distill their own
whiskey. I call it whiskey, it was probably more like a rum,
but it was clear as water, had a kind of a sweet taste, I pre-
sume--it had a sweet smell anyway. I was too young to try it,
so I don't know what it tasted like.
M: Milton Thompson tried it, he said.
H: He might've. I don't remember ever tasting any of it.
M: Said he got pretty drunk on it, because he didn't really under-
stand the potency of it.
H: Well, he might have. It was right potent. You could tell by
the smell of it that it was a kind of a sweet drink probably,
and probably high potency. And they seemed to sober up soon
and not have any hangover from it.
M: In the doctoring, had the Indians regularly gone to medics before,
or was your grandfather the first doctor they ever resorted to?
H: I don't know, but I would guess that they hadn't been to doctors,
because for the first thing, there wasn't many doctors. There
was another doctor in this area before my grandfather, but he
was a cattleman primarily. Although he was an M.D., I've never
heard of him doing any practicing in medicine locally--Tom Langford.
M: I talked to a nurse...Helen Peters. I don't know if you ever
met her over in Clewiston. I went down there and talked to her.
And she was a nurse at the hospital in Clewiston when the sugar
company ran it, before it became a county property. She was
around there, she told me, when the Indians for the first time
ever came to the hospital.
H: Yeah, well that was many years later.
M: Yeah, it probably was. And they camped out in the yard [of the
hospital] a whole bunch of them....
H: Yeah, they used to come in when they'd get sick. I can remember
when I was a kid that different ones would come in and be in the
hospital here, and there was a nurse in the hospital named Margaret
Mickle. One of my father's favorite stories was going over to the


7
hospital one day and Miss Margaret was telling them that this
particular Indian liked her. She said, "He likes me very much.
I'm really impressed with how much he likes me.". So my father
knew he couldn't speak English, so he asked her, he said, "Well
how can you tell he likes you?" She said, "Well, sir, every morning
when I walk in the first thing he says is 'Li-kee, li-kee."'
Well, Daddy laughed, because that was their word for having a
bowel movement. He said he wanted to go--he just wanted a bed
pan. But she misunderstood him.
M: How'd your grandfather communicate with them?
H: Well, my father could speak the language. He learned how to speak
it.
M: Did he learn to speak it pretty comprehensively?
H: I'd say so. He started a dictionary on it one time. I don't
know what became of it, but he never did finish it.
MRS. H: Your sister tried to publish it at one time.
H: But I also speak some of it, enough to generally make myself
understood.
M: Have you kept up with it, so you could go out and talk with them
still?
H: Yes, I don't think I've forgotten too much of it. But I usually
had just enough to make myself known. If they wanted to know
what I was talking about, or if they wanted to communicate with
me; they could do it. But my father usually made us--at home--
learn to ask for food and stuff in Indian, so that we would learn.
And another thing he conned me into: Money wasn't plentiful,
and as kids, if we wanted to get some money from him--a nickle
or a dime or pennies or whatever it was in those days--and he
was with someone, he taught us to come up and ask him in Indian.
I'd walk up and say, "I-nee kee-naw-ee su-bon-o nock-a-nee."
It means, "I money want, man," in Miccosukee. And then he could
very conveniently say, "I-nee (I) i-tee (don't have or without),"
or "Kee-nawee (money) i-tus (gone or none)"--"I haven't got any."
And we would go merrily along our way without embarrasing him to
tell someone else that he was out of funds. At the same time,
I realized as we grew up that we may have been taken in at times
by these little rules, where if it was asked in English he may
have been put on the spot to produce more than by concealing
our questions.


8
M: While on the health subject--not relating to your grandfather,
but it makes me think of it--have you over the years any special
observations on Indian health or problems that they have?
H: No, but well, they generally are in pretty good health, and a
large part of it, I think, is because of open-air living. A
good many of the Indians that were forced to go to Oklahoma by
the government...my father always said in his opinion that there
was an awful lot of death by tuberculosis, because they took them
out there and put them into houses. And they weren't adapted
to living in the white man's houses. Also, probably the climate
had a lot to do with it. But we never had any tuberculosis in
the Indians in this country, that I know of, nor other sicknesses
out of the normal. So generallyI'd say they were in good health.
M: They went barefooted so much--what about hookworm and so on?
You always read that in Florida you have a lot of trouble with
this.
H: I have no idea. I never heard of any.
M: You never saw any of this?
H: ...no reason to know whether they had hookworms or not. However,
their medicine men, who were like a board of directors.... The
Seminole Indians, in spite of the newspaper titles that's bestowed
on different Indians of chief this, and chief that, to the best
of my knowledge the last chief the Seminoles had was Osceola.
And they never put the power of making war on the white man into
the hands of one man after that. They operated on a tribal council
basis with what they called their medicine men who knew the lore
of herbs and how to take care of them and cure them--cure them
by native herbs and berries and what have you. They also act
as the judge and jury for their trials.
M: Do you remember crippled Indians, Stanley, as you grew up?
H: Yes, I remember one back in the late '20s when we were living in
Estero. There was a little restaurant sandwich shop over on the
river, and I was over there one day when several Indians stopped
there to get some sandwiches and coffee or coke, or something to
eat, and I stopped in with them and got to talking. I knew them,
and there was one Indian that had his arm broken between his wrist
and elbow about midway. And all he had was about like a hand-
kerchief tied around the break, and every time he moved the arm
it would just hand down and flob like a snake or.... There was
no splint or anything to hold it, and it was a strange experience
for me--I'd never seen one like that before.


9
M: You mean this had happened long in the past and...?
H: I don't know how long before.
M: Was he in pain whenever it did this?
H: No, it didn't seem to bother him, and it never'd been splinted
up and grown back. It was my understanding at the time that
the ends of the bones had eroded to rounded ends--either that
or the bones had grown over. But the ends were...I don't know,
they [surgeons] might have been able to go in and mend them today,
but at that time they didn't seem to know any. It didn't seem
to bother him very much. It bothered me more than it did him.
M: I would think so. Well cripples like this, was that uncommon?
H: Yes, it was the only one I ever remember seeing like that.
M: How about snake bites? Did you ever know of an Indian being
struck by a rattler?
H: Only one time I knew that. I remember at one of the Green Corn
Dances one of them stepped on a ground rattler by mistake and
got bit. My father used to carry a medicine chest with him,
and I believe he treated it. But generally speaking, the Indians
won't kill a snake.
M: I've understood that.
H: They'll walk around them, and their philosophy on that is that
if I don't bother him, he don't bother me. But they don't kill
the snakes the way the white man does. Fact is, they don't kill
anything the way the white man does. Because they only kill
what they need for their uses.
M: And they'd never eat snakes, would they?
H: I don't believe so.
M: Were there other things that they wouldn't eat? Any food taboos
that you happen to know about?
H: I'm not aware of anything in particular. They ate a lot of fish.
They'd eat garfish and turtles; deer, turkey.
M: Would they eat rabbit?


10
H: Rabbits and squirrels, both of them, sure. I don't remember
specifically seeing them eating rabbits, but I would feel certain
that rabbit would have no reason to be out of their diet.
M: I suppose you ate quite a bit of Indian food with them at dif-
ferent times, didn't you?
H: No, I don't remember ever eating any. They usually had a cooking
arrangement in the camps, maybe four to eight logs that would
be arranged in a star-shape, with ends together in the center.
They would build a small fire in the middle of it, and if the
end of a log burned out, they'd hit it on the end with an ax and
drive them in together. But they tended to cook on a communal
basis. One of their main staples was what they called sofkee.
M: Have you tasted that?
H: No, I never had the nerve. The sofkee is made in a pot like a
gruel of grits and water--it's kind of soupy, and they'd also
put meat in it, stew it up, it might be beef or it might be tur-
tle; whatever meat they happened to have. Most of them all eat
out of the same pot. They use a carved wooden spoon or ladle
to stir it with, and they sometimes serve with it. Sometimes
they may reach in the pot and pull out a piece of meat that
they want to eat. But I never had any particular inclination to
try it. I'm sure I would've been welcome if I'd wanted to try it.
M: Just gone over and got the spoon and had a slurp?
S: Either that or reach your fist in there and get you some of it,
but my mother usually did the cooking for us and I never was
hungry enough to want to try this.
I was just thinking of one instance when we were at a Green
Corn Dance: We usually camped out to one side of the camp, and
it was usually during the rainy season and it was pouring down
rain. So we were all sitting in the Model "T" touring car. One
Indian--his white man's name was Abe Lincoln--he happened to
be one of the guides with the trail blazers; I believe his Indian
name was Asom-Hachee.... He came over to visit with us, and he
had a fairly good snout full of this Indian booze and he was a
little bit rocky on his heels, but he was standin' around talkin'...
my mother had taken a large sack of apples with us. He was known
in the family very well, and I don't know whether the rest of
us were eating apples or not...anyway Abe reached over and got
him an apple and was munching on it, and when he got ready to
leave he walked off with the apple. None of us thought anything


11
about it, but the next thing I knew, they had 01' Abe up charged
with stealing an apple.
Abe came over and apologized. He was still feeling no pain,
and he wanted to talk himself out of it. And he came over, and
I remember him saying, "Abe no stealin' apple, Abe take 'em ap-
ple. He no stealin', he take 'em." He couldn't understand it,
but my father quieted them down, and nothing ever came of it.
But that's an idea of how seriously they take stealing.
Back about around 1928, one of the medicine men named Josie
Billy....
M: Yeah, he's still living.
H: Yes, he is. I believe he's ninety-two. He came in to see me
here in Fort Myers about a month ago. He's a Baptist preacher
now, and I believe that he's gotten away from the medicine man
business. He and his wife were both in town; I had lunch with
them.
Anyway, Josie Billy had a little bit more of this Indian
booze than he had any business with, but somehow--I don't know
whether it was an argument or what happened--but anyway, he picked
up a stick and hit another Indian in the head and killed him.
Under the Indian's law, any member of this other man's family,
the grieved family, that could find Josie Billy within I believe
around forty-eight hours, or a couple of days, maybe three, if
they find him they could shoot him and kill him; that would be
the end of it. And that was during the period when we were living
in Estero and when my father had some Indians at St. Petersburg,
Florida, for Mr. Boutin of Southern Tours, who had a camp. They
had them up there, and somehow, I don't recall how, some Indian
brought him in or somebody else brought him to our house at
Estero about two o'clock in the morning. My father got up, and
Josie Billy told my father what had happened and what could happen
to him if he wasn't hidden. So my father and Milton Thompson
got up and dressed, and put him in the car. And they took him
up to St. Petersburg and let him stay up there. Of course, those
Indians up there didn't know anything about it.
He stayed up there till over the critical period and then
they brought him back. The following Green Corn Dance was rather
sensitive, because Josie was a medicine man. And it was a pretty
touchy subject trying one of the top men. Anyway, some of the
medicine men sent in to ask my father to be sure and attend that
Corn Dance. So the whole family went and the medicine men had a
kind of an open area where they had the Green Corn Dance, and
they had a cypress pole in the middle of the dance area. On one
side they had a little square open-sided hut that had a log on


12
each side of the square and a pole on each corner with a sloping
roof, more what you call a one-slope roof or a shed roof thatched
with palmettos. The medicine men would sit in there and do their
confabbing, or watch the dances or what. So we were down there,
and finally they sent over and asked my father to go join them.
M: That must have been rare.
H: So, he sat in with them as an advisor, and old Billy Fewell, one
of the older ones--he wore a turban--walked over and took his
turban off and put it on my father's head. And then he said,
"Now you me, me you." And so my father sat with them as a medi-
cine man. And he was known up to the time of his death or for many
years as the white medicine man of the Seminoles.
Anyway, they asked his advice on it, and he made a recommenda-
tion along the lines of Solomon. He said, "If you kill this man,
then you will have two families without a head." He recommended
to them that they make the penalty that Josie Billy would have to
take this other man's family into his camp as his own, and take
care of them as long as he lived. And that's what they wound up
and did.
M: That's an astonishing story. I'd heard rumors to the effect that
Josie had committed some kind of crime, but I never heard of it
before.
H: Well, Josie's brother....
M: It's Ingraham?
H: Ingraham Billy was also a medicine man, and he was also the head
medicine man. And Ingraham spoke very little English, and had
probably less contact with the white man than hardly any other
Indian. He used to live up Lost Man's on Turner's River.
M: Is he younger or older [than Josie Billy]?
H: I'd say he's alittle younger. He's now living at the Big Cypress
Reservation.
A couple of years ago we were down there to an Indian field
day on the Fourth of July. I wanted to see Ingraham, and I'd been
advised not to try to see him, because I was told that you never
knew what kind of mood he'd be in. Sometimes he didn't want to
be bothered and it was hard to get along with him. But I wanted
to see him anyway, and so I found someone that knew where he was


13
staying and they took me over to see him. He seemed to be very
pleased to see me. I hadn't seen him probably in thirty-five
years or more. He was a little difficult to talk to because he
doesn't speak very much English.
M: Still doesn't?
H: Still doesn't. But his wife was there, and so we talked quite
a bit. I had my camera with me, but unfortunately, I believe
I only had one or two frames left on it.
So anyway, Bob Mitchell, and I were together. Bob took me
over there and knew where he was, and Josie told us where he was
and we went over. It was about half a mile from where the field
day was held at the Big Cypress Reservation in Hendry County.
Bob didn't know how he would react, but before we got ready to
leave, I asked him if he would mind me taking his picture and
he said, "Ha-mun-ka-shay," which means wait. And he took off
and went over into a house trailer set up there that he was stay-
ing in. I thought he wanted to get away where he wouldn't get
his picture taken. We sat around and talked a few minutes, and
next thing I know he came back for me to take his picture. He'd
gone to put on his medicine man clothes so that we could take his
picture. And I thought it was quite an honor to me, or to my
father as the case might be, that he'd take the trouble to go
get dressed in his special costume so that I could make a photo-
graph of him..
M: He looked good?
H: Yeah, and I was disappointed that I didn't have any more film
with me to take more pictures. Bob Mitchell got some pictures,
and I got some.
MRS. H: Here's a write-up on Josie Billy, written in 1914 by W. J. Godden,
who was a doctor. There are two letters here from Josie Billy
written....
H: Was Godden the Indian agent? It seemed to me like Dr. Godden...
I may be mixing him up with Dr. Brecht, who was an Indian agent.
MRS. H: I don't know if it was Dr. Brecht, Stanley. Some Indians say,
"Dr. Godden no good--he don't like some Indians." Say, "He me
tell no. Dr. Godden all right good all time. I say your friend,
Josie Billy."
M: And he [Josie] can write, then?


14
MRS. H: Oh, yeah.
H: He went to school with Captain F. A. Hendry's children.
M: Now this is not Billy Conapachee, this is Josie....
H: No, Billy Conapachee is his father.
M: So Josie went to school, too, some?
H: Now wait a minute now, I guess Conapachee went to school.
M: I don't know about Josie, but Conapachee came and lived with the
Hendrys until....
H: Well, Josie learned a little bit about reading and writing, I
guess.
MRS. H: And don't you imagine that Conapachee taught him?
H: Conapachee may have taught him.
M: Well he must have to have written. I had no idea he could write.
H: But now see, that was sixty-one years ago when he wrote that.
And that he's ninety-two now, so he would've been about thirty-
two years old. That again now, that was back in the year I was
born [1914].
MRS. H: Listen, would you believe that we have here paintings and draw-
ings done by Seminole Indians that long ago? I want to show you
a couple of them.
H: I mentioned that in this area where they had the Green Corn
dance, they had a pole in the middle. This pole was used in the
afternoon to play games. The cypress pole was skinned off maybe
fifteen, twenty feet up in the air; they had the bark stripped
off. They used a rawhide ball probably the size of a tennis
ball or smaller that they had made, and they would throw this
ball up at the pole. Every time they hit the spot that had the
bark off, they would score a point. The pole was squared off
down below where they could mark it with charcoal for keeping
score. The women and children were allowed to pick up the ball
and throw it at the pole, but the men used a pair of cypress
sticks that had a loop on the end with some buckskin stips or
thongs across it--I'd say maybe four inches across. They'd use
these handles or basket-type sticks to pick up and throw the ball.


15
M: Do they play that any longer that you know of?
H: I haven't seen them, but I haven't been where I would see them.
Quite likely they do.
M: Did they ever admit any of you white kids into the game?
H: Oh yes.
M: Did you play it?
H: Yes, I used to get in and play with them. Every time they'd
throw that ball up, if they'd hit, they'd let out a whoop.
They'd let out a kind of a loud yell when they scored.
Usually the dancing seems to me to have been at night. I
don't recall whether they did any dancing in the daytime or not.
But they'd make a line, and the men would be in the front and then
the women and the children last. They would form a circle around
the pole and they'd dance in a circle and chant and have a kind
of a foot shuffle or stomp--it wasn't dancing the way we dance.
The women used to tie small turtle shells with beads onto their
ankles for a rattle, and the men sometimes would have them on
the end of a stick, which they would shake to keep time. I've
joined with them in it myself.
M: In the end of the line?
H: Yes. And my sister did too. But we didn't know what we were
doing.
M: You were just having a good time?
H: The different dances had symbolic meanings to them. They might
have a turkey dance or a deer dance or the dance for the green
corn, or they had a little different movements, and they'd panto-
mime the animal they were dancing to.
M: Would just everybody chant, or were there a group of chanters?
H: The ones dancing were chanting, and I don't know whether any of
the others were or not--I don't recall. It was not a lot of
chant, just a little chant.
M: Was there any instrumentation at all, or was it all vocal?
H: Just the rattles and chanting was all that I recall. I don't


16
remember whether they had anything like a drum or a tom-tom they
may have thumped to keep time--I don't recall.
I can remember I took a friend of mine with us one year
down to the dance. Down in this cypress area there was an open
place where some flags [aquatic plants, iris savannarum] were
growing, and the water was clear and a whole bunch of the Indian
boys were down there swimming, skinny dipping. And so this other
boy and I decided that we wanted to join them. We knew most of
them, so we went down there. Some of the Indian women were there
washing clothes on the edge of the water, in a place where they'd
take clothes and dip it in the water and then they'd beat them
with a stick or a paddle. Anyway, we peeled off and we started
wading out in that water. We got out about belly deep and it seemed
like the pond was loaded with leeches. They started attaching
to our thighs, and as fast as you pulled them off they would come
back. It didn't seem to bother the Indian boys. I know we didn't
stay in the water very long. We were back out getting rid of
the leeches. They didn't hurt much, but they were annoying.
They looked strange to us on our white skin in that water, seeing
these black leeches. They looked like little short snakes.
M: I wonder why they didn't bother the Indians?
H: They may have. I don't know whether they didn't pay any atten-
tion to them, or whether they didn't stick to them or whether
they just liked good tender white meat, or what. But we weren't
in the water very long before we were out and got dressed and stop-
ped swimmin'. They were frolicking around playing games more than
they were swimming. I don't recall it being deep enough for much
swimming. But it was probably waist deep out in the middle of
this pond with cypress all around, and then these flags running
around the edge.
M: Did you ever strike up any close and lasting acquaintance with
any of these kids that were your age, more or less? The ones
you're talking about that you have seen are Josie and...?
H: I had one that was my age that I felt closer to than any of the
others. I don't recall being real close to many of the others.
This was Ingraham Billy's boy, the son of the head medicine man.
Ingraham was very sick and was in the hospital in Fort Myers
about 1925, it seems to me like at least a month and possibly
two months. One of his brothers or one of the other Indians
stayed at our place on Monroe St. to look out for him, and his
son was in and staying at our place while his daddy was in there.
His son was named Leek-a-lee, and was about twelve years old.


17
Leek-a-lee and I became very good friends. He didn't know any-
body, and used to play with us. He wore a knee-length Indian
shirt, which was the custom in those days before they started
wearing pants. We used to play games, "follow the leader" and
"cops and robbers" and what have you. And I remember it was al-
ways a question among the boys whether Leek-a-lee wore anything
under his shirt.
M: Under his shirt. It's like the Scot kilts, you know.
H: And he never exposed himself, so we set it up to find out. We
were playing follow the leader, and had me on the tail end of the
thing behind Leek-a-lee. They were going around, and finally
theleaderled him up a ladder.
M: You were supposed to peek?
H: I followed up the ladder behind Leek-a-lee, and I turned and looked
up and he didn't have anything on under it, but he also looked
down at about the same time and he very quickly tucked his skirts
in between his legs and covered himself up. But he caught me
peeking.
M: Well, are they shy that way, do you think, in general?
H: Well, I'd say they are very modest.
M: Although they were swimming in the naked, as you said.
H: Well that was among themselves, and I guess anybody'd be shy if
they saw somebody peeking. And that's what we were doing--we
were satisfying our curiosity.
M: What's become of that boy--is he still living, or do you know?
H: No. That was a very sad story. I was out of contact with him
for many years. The Indians always handled their own law and
their own justice, and the white man left them alone. He got
into a situation that was down in Collier County, and all I know
is hearsay on it. But another Indian, I believe, was hanging
around and messing with his wife, or trying to. And my under-
standing is that Leek-a-lee warned him off, and warned him off;
but he kept on anyway. Leek-a-lee killed him. I don't recall
whether he shot him, or hit him, or.... Anyway, at this particular
time, which was unusual, the white man's justice took over. The
sheriff arrested him and put him in the jail. And eventually,


18
he was sentenced to serve time in Raiford. He got up to Raiford
and he was very despondent.
M: I should think so.
H: Bob Mitchell is probably more familiar with it. I didn't know
about it until after it was all over. I think Bob was working...
he was trying to help him get released, or get him paroled or
pardoned or something. He shouldn't have been in there in the
first place, in my opinion. But before they effected it, he
hung himself. Couldn't stand the confinement. I may be wrong
on what happened, but he died before he got out of prison (this
was after World War II).
While his father was in the hospital here, my father had
bought a new Studebaker touring car. I believe my sister and
I and my mother were up at my grandfather's at Tarpon Springs.
Anyway, my father was going to come up to get us, and he brought
Leek-a-lee with him. Then we went from there to my mother's
brother's, or my uncle's, at Green Cove Springs; he had a drug-
store there. [We] took Leek-a-lee with us on this trip, which
was quite a trip. I doubt if he'd ever been further away than
Fort Myers from the Everglades country.
I remember we were staying in a hotel with him--probably
Jacksonville. Leek-a-lee was playing a game. He would step
into the clothes closet and shut the door and step out, and he
was singing a little song: "Yot-lo-chay chikee-wan-tee." Yot-
lo-chay is their word for a colored person, and chickee-wan-tee
is a jail. And he was playing the game of putting the nigger in
the jail. It seems to me like on that expedition that he got his
finger in a light socket--one of these wall sockets, when they
used to have the screw plugs--and he got quite a shocking sur-
prise. But I don't think he experimented any more.
M: How old was he at this time?
H: I'd say twelve or thirteen, right along in there.
M: Was he still wearing the short skirt or was he...?
H: That must've been '25 or '26. I was about eleven or twelve, and
he was about the same age I was. Yes, he was wearing the skirts.
That was during the time when he was at our place for a couple
of months while his father was in the hospital.
We got up to my uncle's; he had a drugstore and soda foun-
tain, and my uncle told his soda jerk to give the kids anything
they want. He set in to see how much he could get into Leek-a-
lee and the rest of us. And we nearly foundered on soda water and


19
ice cream sodas and what have you. I don't know if he ever did
get Leek-a-lee filled up, but he was going strong.
After we left Jacksonville, we came down the east coast and
my father took Leek-a-lee on a visit to Fort Marion at St. Augus-
tine. We got in after the-regular guided tour had started. And
we were following behind at some distance. My father was telling
Leek-a-lee about the story of the fort, and about Osceola being
held there as a captive. We took him into the room where they
held him prisoner, showed him where he dug the toe holds to climb
up to where he could watch the troops drilling in the fort, and
showed him where the other Indians had starved themselves so
they could squeeze out betwen the bars. They got out and Osceola
refused to escape.
M: He was sick anyway, I think.
H: I don't know how sick he was at that time, but anyway, Leek-a-lee
knew the story and knew more about the fort than we did.
M: Did he? That's interesting.
H: They pass their history down by word of mouth, and he was very
well versed in the whole thing. Of course he was talking in Indian
to my father and a lot of it I didn't understand or get. But my
father was quite surprised with how much he knew.
M: Well, when you were traveling like this in that time with a person
in Indian costume who was quite conspicuous, what was the reaction
of Floridians in general? Was it a spectacle to them, or do you
remember even paying any attention to him? I mean this boy in a
little short skirt....
H: I'm sure they were interested, but I don't remember anything
extraordinary.
M: You don't remember anything being...feeling conspicuous or any-
thing?
H: The Indians tended to want to emulate the white man and wear
white man's clothing. And my father always resisted it as much
as he could. He used his influence to keep them in the Seminole
clothing or costume. My father always encouraged the Indians to
wear Indian clothing as an identification as Indians. I don't
know of the Indians ever being refused admittance to restaurants
or picture shows or anything else, as long as they were traveling
as Indians. But occasionally, or when they were dressed in white


20
man's clothing, they were mistaken for Negroes, and they weren't
made as welcome as they might have been as Indians. He tried to
encourage them to keep or maintain their identity as much 'as
possible. And the Indians never, to my knowledge, did any mixing
with the colored, although they did assimilate some escaped slaves
back before and during the Seminole Indian wars. There's one
family that--Indian Dixie--apparently had Negro blood in them,
because they had the kinky hair and.... But they never seemed
to mix much with them (the colored people) or have much talk with
them (not Dixie's family).
I can tell you a little more about the costumes. Back in
the '20s the men used to wear knee-length Indian shirts. The
women wore them down to the ground, and they tied around their
waists. And they had a more like a shawl, or...well, let's see,
it covered the upper abdomen and the chest area. It's more like
a jacket with a kind of a cape built into it that came down and
around.
Another interesting thing, they wore tremendous numbers of
beads around their necks. I heard a question asked my father
when he was lecturing--did they take the beads off when they went
to bed at night? And his answer was he didn't know, because he'd
never been to bed with one of them. But I have seen them when
they were taking their beads off, and I was quite surprised to
find that they took a long string of beads and doubled them back
and forth until they got a number of strands, and then they
hooked a piece of string through one side and put it around the
neck and hooked it to the other one and tied it. And then if
they wanted to get it off, they just clipped this little piece
of string and the whole clump of them would come off at one time.
They clip a few tie strings and they take probably the whole
works off for washing or whatever they want to. I don't believe
that they would take them off at night, but they might.
M: Well now, when they were just around the camp, and not dressed
for an occasion, did they wear those beads?
H: The women wore them all the time. It would be a very rare oc-
casion when you'd see one without all those beads on.
M: Did you ever have the feeling they were suffering from the heat?
In the heat of summer, did you have any impression one way or
another?
H: No, I don't think it bothered them. I guess they could slosh
down with water and cool the beads off, and it'd act as a coolant.
And the evaporation of water would act as a coolant if they were
having any problem, but I have never seen them do that even.


21
They had an unusual women's hairstyle. They used to put a
piece of cardboard in the front, and would run the hair out and
over this cardboard and back, and they'd have a kind of a long
visor of hair running out from the top of the forehead.
M: Yeah, I know what it looks like.
H: But I didn't know if you knew that they had cardboard inside to
hold it.
M: Yes, I'd heard that.
H: It seemed to be the style. Looked like they kept seeing how much
further they could get it to go out. Now, of course, you don't
see it like that very often today. They have their hair cut more
or less like white women.
M: The men kept their hair cut, I guess?
H: Well they had hair cut then fairly short.
M: Who cut it? Do you know?
H: Well, I guess they cut it. I don't think they had a barber. I
don't know whether the wives cut it, or who cut it.
M: But somebody in the family cut it?
H: I assume so. I don't remember ever seeing one of them getting
a haircut.
The Indian clothing--multi-colored.... They would buy calico,
and then tear it into strips and sew it together. They used a
small Singer sewing machine that they turned by hand, instead of
a foot pedal. They're probably using electrics today, because
they have electricity in a lot of the chickees. But back in
times that I was speaking of, they'd turn it by hand and crank
them. And these clothes designs were worked up and sewn together
out of small bits or strips. The clothing they made for their
own use was much prettier and much more intricately designed than
the clothing that they might make to sell in their roadside camps.
M: You know, I was just looking at this letter, and it comes up,
and I wanted to ask you: with regard to verbs, they never seem
to get what we would call the tense right. For instance, here
he is: "Dear Friend, I write you letter and I stay Immokalee
now." Have you got any comment to make on that, and what you've
learned about the language?


22
H: They get them right in their own context, but they reverse their
verbs like they do in Spanish. As an example, Okeechobee--okee
is water, chobee is big; it means water big. However, we call
it big water. But they put the emphasis on the noun ahead of
the verb.
M: That was their only basic...?
H: Well, I think if we're a neophyte trying to talk Spanish, and
if we're using Spanish words and put it together like English,
we would be backwards to the Spaniards.
M: But this leads me to believe, looking at it, that maybe they only
use one tense. See, "I write you and I stay," and don't inflect
the verb so much.
H: Well, bear in mind that they're talking in the white man's lan-
guage: they're Indians, so....
M: Sure, I know. But I just thought maybe this reflected their own
language.
MRS. H: Do you know whether they had a tense, Stanley? How would they
say, "I came yesterday"?
H: I don't know how they'd say it, but I'm sure they could.
M: But you know, in Chinese, for instance, they say, "I go yester-
day," or something, and don't inflect the verb as we do.
H: They say, "I go yesterday," instead of "I went yesterday"?
M: Yeah. They don't inflect the verb.
H: So far as I know, the Indians would probably do the same, but
don't know. Did you know there's two groups of Indians, and
their language is entirely different?
M: You had mostly to do with the Miccosukees?
H: Yes, the Big Cypress Indians are Miccosukees.
M: You haven't had to do with the Brighton people, have you?
H: Very little. Their language is so different that although their
customs are similar, they'd usually communicate in English. As


23
an example, the Big Cypress Indians say Hum-pee-kee for bad.
And the Cow Creeks say Holee-waug-us. Our Indians say Kee-homee
for whiskey; and they say Wyomee and....
M: It's entirely different?
H: Yes. The Indians, incidentally, don't have any cuss words. If
they want to swear, they have to use English.
Back in the mid-thirties, my father was commissioned by
Henry Ford, who was here very much at the time with his friend
Edison. And my father was close to Edison, too, because of his
connection through his father, who had been Edison's doctor.
But anyway, Henry Ford commissioned my father to make a collec-
tion of Indian lore and artifacts. He wanted to set up a section
in his museum in Dearborn. And my father worked on it for him
for many months. He went to every Indian camp in the state of
Florida, to the best of his knowledge and the Indians' knowledge,
he made a complete census of all the Indians in the state. He
kept it up for some time as best as he could. But there were,
I believe, about two boxcars of material shipped up to Dearborn.
And they had the Indian canoes--that is, dugouts--shipped up,
and they sent a special car [that] opened on the end down here
to load the stuff for shipment. An end-opening boxcar, it was
a big one. And so far as I know, the thing was never put up--
it was put in storage in Dearborn.
M: I was going to ask you if it was on display.
H: I've never heard of it being...but all of this stuff was sent
up there and then stored.
M: Gee, that's a shame. It might've been a priceless collection.
H: He took two Indians with him on this trip. One was Johnny Cy-
press and another one was Richard Osceola; he was a Cow Creek
Indian. They were both about the same age, and they became very
good friends. And in fact, the Cow Creek Indian wound up mar-
rying one of Johnny Cypress's sisters (Lena Cypress) and came
over and I believe lived with the Indians here. But that would
be normal, because the Indians liked having girl babies. When the
girls get married, the husband goes and lives in the camp of the
girl, or the girl's father. And so you build a big family or a
big camp by having girls, because instead of the girls going off
to live with the men, the men come over and become a part of the
camp where their wives are.
M: You remind me of something that the nurse, Miss Peters, told
me. Did you ever see any discrimination with regard to twins?
Ever run into this?


24
H: I don't recall ever seeing any twins.
M: Well she told me that they just let one twin die usually.
H: If it's so, I never heard anything to that effect. On the other
hand, I may have run into twins and not been aware of it. I
guess they would have twins the same as anyone else.
M: Yeah, but her story was--and this was apparently an authentic
affair; she witnessed it--but one of the women had twins and would
not have anything to do with the one twin.
H: How did they decide which one they weren't going to have anything
to do with?
M: I don't know. She couldn't talk to 'em, but the child died finally
and....
H: Well, I don't have any personal knowledge, but I would be skeptical
of it as it being the custom. Because it just doesn't sound like
the Indians to me. I've never seen them mistreat their children,
or abuse them in any way, although they'd demand discipline and
respect.
M: Do you remember the traders? There were specific people that
were involved in the Indian trade business, I suppose.
H: Well, the only one I can think of was...the main one was an old
Jew; his name was Garfunkel. He used to have an army and navy
store here right after World War I. And he had a young fella
working for him whose name was Johnny Fohl. Eventually, Johnny
Fohl wound up with the business, and old Garfunkel wound up out
of it--I don't know anything about howit;happened or what kind
of arrangement. But Johnny traded with the Indians for many years.
And later he had a fairly large hardware business in Fort Myers.
M: There was a family named Brown.
H: Yeah, they were down in the Immokalee area mostly.
M: Did you ever run into any of them? The old man just died, I
understand.
H: I knew the Browns.
M: Did you ever know Stranahan over in Fort Lauderdale?


25
H: No. I knew the name.
M: Mrs. Stranahan was.a great champion of the Indians apparently;
had a good deal to do with them.
Well now, when they showed up in your back yard, as you
mentioned, how much trouble were they? They'd just turn up in
the night as you said?
H: They were no trouble. They would come and go day or night.
M: Did they complicate your life? Were they.demanding in any way?
H: No, they'd stay there. I liked to go out and visit with them.
We had a kind of a storeroom that they used to stay in a lot,
unless it was a large group of them, and they'd bring their own...
well, they didn't have tents as much as they used to have mosquite
bars; they called them flies. And sometimes they'd have a thing
like a sheet they would string up to keep the sun off of them.
And I guess it would shed water.
MRS. H: But your daddy eventually had two chickees built?
H: Well now, they were built there during this Henry Ford episode.
When the Indians were there working out of them, they built them
I guess. Henry Ford probably paid for the chickees or paid for
the time in building them. I remember that they took down some
chickees to ship up to Dearborn and they stripped all the palm
fronds off and re-thatched them before they shipped them so that
they would be fresh and not as fragile as after they had been
dried out for a long time. And they got those thatched up, and
then Johnny Cypress was thatching the one that he called his
house or his chickee in the backyard. And my father made a com-
ment to Johnny-- he said, "Johnny, how come you put them on thicker
on this one?"
Johnny looked at him with a kind of disgust, and said, "This
my house." He was putting the fronds on probably 50% thicker on
the one that he was going to use than the one they thatched to
go to Dearborn.
MRS. H: Stanley, you told me also that your mother had them sleeping on
the front porch at times.
H: Well, they'd get overcrowded sometimes, but it was just "come in
and stretch out." We had a screened porch; the mosquitoes were
bothersome.
M: Just sleep on the boards, or did they have any kind of beds?


26
H: Well, they probably had a blanket under them.
M: But nothing more than that, huh?
H: They didn't have mattresses, but under the chickees they have
a platform that they slept on that's about thirty inches off
the ground. Made of split cypress logs.
M: Were they in the habit of lying flat on that?
H: Yes, they were used to sleeping on that. They might have had a
couple of layers of blankets up under them, but I don't recall.
M: That's pretty hard sleeping if you're not used to it.
H: Well, if you're tired, you can sleep on anything.
M: I always found sleeping on the ground was pretty tough, myself.
H: Yes, I have too. But I don't recall ever seeing them using any
mattresses or padding. They possibly may have had a thin pad of
something that I didn't notice. I didn't have any particular
reason to be checking up on that particular practice, though.
M: You spoke about their going up to Sarasota, and the circus staking
out some place for them. Did any of them there ever travel with
the circus?
H: Not that I know of. Although at the Century of Progress in
Chicago [a world's fair held in 1933-1934], they had a Seminole
Indian village. Had a group of probably twenty, twenty-five
Indians there.
M: Where'd they come from, the Big Cypress?
H: Big Cypress. I don't know who put that together. I don't think
my father was involved with it.
I went to the World's Fair in I guess probably '33. And I
made the round trip on twenty-five dollars. I had, fortunately,
an aunt in Chicago that I stayed with, or I never would've been
able to make it even in those days. But anyway, my expenses at
the World's Fair consisted mainly of admission. They had plenty
of free stuff, but I didn't have any money to go into the different
shows and things; that took an admission price to get into. I was
watching the Seminole Indians, and the barker out front to get peo-
ple to come in. Part of the barker's comments were that no Indian


27
woman was permitted to speak to a white man, and if they did,
they would be immediately executed. It wasn't long before I got
inside. I don't remember whether I paid admission, or whether
some Indian came by and took me in or what.
M: Did you know some of them?
H: Oh yes. I knew most of them. I would dare say that one of the
Indians that was on the outside on the platform that they were
showing to get the crowds probably saw me and took me in. And
while I was in there, they took me in behind the roped area. I
was sitting in under the chickee with them, talking in my broken
English and Indian. Some of the people were quite shocked to see
me talking with the women.
M: You were going to get executed if you...?
H: No, the women talking with me, from what they'd heard out front.
Of course, that was not true to fact, what they were telling
them out front. But I was just sitting there laughing and joking.
The women there were very shy, but if you knew them they would
laugh when you'd kid them about something and they'd gotten the
point, and they have got a lot more humor in them than meets the
eye of a stranger. Somebody stubs their toe and falls down, they
all laugh and think it one of the biggest jokes they ever saw.
M: I wonder who made any money out of that project at the World's
Fair, if anybody, and where it went?
H: I have no idea how much the Indians got. I don't know anything
about it, except...all I know is they were there. I knew them
and visited inside with them several times while I was there.
M: That's quite a story. It would be interesting to know who organized
that, and whether the Indians got any money, or if somebody flim-
flammed them out of it.
H: Well, I'm sure they were paying, but how much I don't know.
MRS. H: You could probably find out from some of them, couldn't you, Stanley?
H: I don't remember now which ones were up there.
M: Must've been quite an experience for them.
H: See, '33--that would be forty-two years ago. They were grown In-
dians that went, they didn't take many kids up there, but there
were families.
1


28
MRS. H: But I think they would be young; they wouldn't be the older
Indians.
H: I don't have the slightest idea which ones were up there.
M: Ross Allen, I don't think would have been mixed up in that.
He always had a little colony at Silver Springs, or did for
years. They aren't there any longer, but they'd go up there and
stay, you know. But I think they were Creeks, rather than Miccosukee.
H: They probably were; I don't know.
M: The-family here, the old lady was named Jim, Annie Jim. Is that
a name you hear...?
H: Well, they had some Jims over here; one of them was named Boy
Jim.
M: Well, I don't know where he got them but they were....
H: The manager of this Silver Springs is a Fort Myers boy.
M: Well, maybe they were Miccosukees.
H: One of the big movie and television companies got them. And the
boy started off in Fort Myers when he was in high school taking
tickets on the door in a picture-show here, and then he hung around
the projectors and finally they gave him a little picture-show in
Arcadia. He went out and worked his way up. He was just a high
school graduate. When they had bought that Silver Springs out,
he was the one they picked and let him run it. His brother lives
here now, and he was telling me he (Mark Dupree, the manager of
Silver Springs) is getting ready to retire. I think it is probably
his last year.
M: Going back to the Green Corn Dance, were you able to get in there
all the way in a car? You didn't have to walk to the last part of
it, or anything?
H: No, we....
M: You got around like the Indians out there? Did most of them?
H: They got there just about any way they could. Some of them came
in old Model "T"s; some of them came in ox carts; some of them
walked.


29
M: You remember the ox carts, do you? They used them. Did they
ride horseback much?
H: I don't recall any of them on horseback. For many years after
the Seminole Indian wars, the Indians, by their own ruling, were
not allowed to have any cattle.
M: No, I didn't know that.
H: They stayed away from cattle to keep from getting into conflicts
with the white man.
M: Oh yes.
H: The white man claimed that they had stolen the cattle and not
only that, they'd come steal the Indians' cattle. So for many
years, they wouldn't have any cattle.
M: Well, I never realized that, but I had heard the thing about being
afraid that they'd get them into a confrontation.
H: There may be exceptions to what I'm saying, but by and large,
they didn't and they weren't running herds of cattle. They may
have had occasional cattle, but they weren't in the cattle busi-
ness, so to speak.
M: When you were around the Green Corn Cance, besides your father's
party, were there other white people there, or were you the only
ones? Do you remember?
H: I don't recall any other white people being there. It seems like
maybe one time another group of white people may have stumbled
into it by accident, or came by, or got into it, but I'm very
vague on it.
M: Well, how were you treated in general while the Green Corn Dance...?
H: Just like one of the family.
M: You were? Were you present at all of it?
H: Oh yes. Any of it you wanted to, if you wanted to stay up that
late at night. Of course, I was twelve or thirteen years old,
along in that age bracket, and my night activities were limited.
If you'd been playing all day, you had to go to sleep.
M: Yes. So were you present at any of the trials? Any sentencing
that you recall?


30
H: Oh, they had the trials more or less in privacy--the medicine men
attended it. They didn't all hang in there to see how the trial's
going. And I don't remember ever being over there. I remember
this one going on when I was staying over at our camp. I remember
the incident. But I wasn't sitting over there in the medicine
men's group, and generally speaking, as I recall, the rest of the
Indians stayed away from it too when they were attending to busi-
ness.
M: How about the scratching? Have you personally observed or witnessed that?
H: I believe so, but I wasn't up there where I could see good from
where we were camping. I've seen the arms with the fresh scratches
on it, and little scabby areas where they were healing afterwards.
I don't specifically remember watching them do it. Unless it was
late at night I would probably have seen it, but I don't have any
recollection of it.
M: Do you specifically remember the purging, the vomiting and so on?
H: I can remember them vomiting.
M: The black drink?
H: They went over to the edge of the camp and the grassy areas where
the palmettos were to vomit.
M: Did you ever taste this so-called black drink?
H: No, sir. I never heard it called black drink. They had another
custom that might be of interest. The women, when the time for
the monthly period came on, would go off and set up a camp off
away from the camp until they were finished, and then come back.
Make their camp off there maybe about a hundred yards or a quarter
of a mile off, in a little tent. And they'd stay over there and
do their own cooking. And when they'd get over it, then they'd
come back into the camp.


Full Text

PAGE 1

SOUTHEASTERN INDIAN ORAL HISTORY PROJECT UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA In cooperation with The Seminole Tribe of Florida INTERVIEWEE: INTERVIEWER: W. Stanley Hanson, Jr. Dr. John Mahon With occasional comments by Mrs. Hanson DATE: June 25, 1975

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SUMMARY W. Stanley Hanson, Sr. was trusted and highly re spected by the Seminoles even to the point of being in vited to sit as a medicine man at the Green Corn Dance trial of Josie Billie. In this interview, his son, W. Stanley Hanson, Jr. relates several incidents involving his father and the Seminoles in the early 1900s. ,Mr. Hanson, Jr. also has several stories of his own to tell. Particularly he discusses: the Green Corn Dance, his friend Leek-a-lee; food, dress, games, language, and health of the Seminoles; and the Seminole Indian Village at the 1933 Chicago World's Fair.

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INDEX Billie, Ingraham, 12-13 Billie, Josie, 11-14 cattle (proscription), 29 chickees, 25-26 dress (Seminole), 20-21 Edison, Thomas, 3, 23 Ford, Henry, 23, 25 food (Seminole), 9-10 games (Seminole), 14-15 Godden, William J., Dr., 13 Green Corn Dance, 5-6, 10-12, 14-16, 28-30 Hanson, W. Stanley, Sr., 3-7, 9, 11-12, 19, 23 health; medicine, 6, 8-9 languages (Miccosukee; English), 21-23 Leek-a-Lee (Hanson's Indian friend), 16-19 Mitchell, Bob, 3, 13, 18 Osceola, Chief, 19 Seminole Indian Association of Florida (members of, 1913), 1-3 snakes (Seminole attitude toward), 9 stealing (Seminole attitude toward), 10-11 traders (early white), 24-25 twins (Seminole attitude toward), 24-25 World's Fair Seminole Indian Village, 26-27

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M: [This interview is between] W. Stanley Hanson, Jr., and me, John K. Mahon in Fort Myers a.this home on June 25, 1975. I went over and looked up what we had in the P. K. Yonge Library of [Florida] History [at the University of Florida] on your father, and I noticed that he was a founder of the Seminole Indian Association of Florida, back in 1913. And it listed some of the other members. I'd like to read them off to you, and ask if any of these people are living that you know of. H: All right, but that was founded the year before I was born. M: Captain F. A. Henry, he's not living H: No, he's dead and gone. M: Do you remember him at all? H: No, I don't. I know of him. M: E. T. Raymond, who it says lived at Owanita. Do you remember him or ever hear of him? H: Yes, I know of him. M: Is he still living? H: No, I'm sure he's dead. Some of his uh, decendants are in Fort Myers, though. M: W. J. Godden, Glades Cross, do you remember him? H: Godden, I believe was a Dr. Godden. M: How about A.H. Andrews of Estero? H: He was editor of the American Eagle for that connnunity and Southwest Florida. He's been dead many years. M: Did you know him ever? H: Oh yes, I knew him very well. M: And W. B. Winkler?

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2 H: He was the local doctor. He brought me into this world. M: So you knew him also after you got conscious? H: Yes, very well. M: He's gone now, no doubt. H: I don't know how long he's been dead, but it's been many years. M: T. A. Ruhl, do you know him or of him? H: I knew of a Dan Ruhl, and he may have been a brother to Dan or some other kin. M: Julia Hanson? H: That was my grandmother. M: C. Q. Stuart? H: Cy Stuart? He's still living in Fort Myers. And he's an attorney. M: How old a man is he? H: I'd say between eighty-five and ninety. Still in his office, practicing law. M: For heaven's sakes. A.H. Roberts? I guess these are all Fort Myers people. H: I don't place A.H. Roberts. M: You don't place him? H: It may have been the Roberts that had the Seminole Lumber Company here. M: J.E. Yelvington? H: He's dead and gone. M: How about J.B. Tippens? H: F. B. He was sheriff of Lee County, and a United States Marshal in Tampa later. And he's dead and gone.

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3 M: And J.E. Brecht is dead, isn't he? H: Yes, he was a form.er postmaster here for many years. M: N. G. Stout? H: He was a county judge and he's dead and gone. M: R. A. Henderson, Sr.? H: He used to have a grocery store here. M: E. A. Carlton? H: Yes, I knew him, but he's dead and gone. M: And J.B. Porter? H: I don't recall him. M: So of all these, there's only one of them still living, which is to say C. Q. Stuart. H: Cy Stuart, yes. M: Was that association [Seminole Indian Association] still in being when you were ..• ? H: It was operating. and in operation. with it now. Fact is, I believe it's still in existence I think Bob Mitchell of Orlando is involved My father was born in Key West on November 27, 1883. Lee County was then a part of Monroe County, and Key West was the county seat. And the conununications were by boat. They used to bring supplies in by boat from there, and my grandfather, who was first practicing physician in Fort Myers to the best of my knowledge, moved up to Fort Myers in 1884 when my father was six-months old. Which happened to be the same year that Thomas Edison moved to Fort Myers. My grandfather became his physician and surgeon, and took care of him when he was here until the time my grandfather died in about 1910. During the period of my grandfather's practice the Indians took a liking to him, had confidence in him, came in and were treated by him. The small Indians or the children came in with them, and my father and the small children used to play together, and they grew up knowing each other. That's how he got established

PAGE 7

4 with them. And as time went on, they had a trust and confidence in my father which was contrary to their natural suspicion of the white man that they had had over the years. For many years the Indians used to come to Fort Myers to trade hides and buy supplies--calicos and sewing machines, beads arid what have you. And the only place I've ever known them to stay when they came to Fort Myers was to camp in our back yard, on Monroe Street. We always found them to be very trustworthy, and never known to steal. I've gotten up in the morning and found maybe up to twenty-five Indians that came in during the night and camped in our yard. We have gone off and left our place and the house unlocked for a period of one to two weeks and never found anything missing. We would tell them when we'd be back--and we used to keep chickens in the back yard at that time--tell them they could have the eggs and stuff until we got back, and before we got back they would start saving the eggs for us. They would come and go, and eventually they built a couple of Indian chickees where they used to camp, so they didn't have to sleep under mos quito-flies. That's basically how my father got close to them, and then he used to be in the woods a lot, visit with them. And he acted as an agent for them on occasion to help them find work, and he would locate them sometimes in places that wanted to put on ex hibits. Sometimes they'd set up an Indian camp. For instance, in the late twenties in St. Petersburg, Mr. Boutin of Southern Tours would probably have twenty to twenty-five Indians up there at a time as an attraction. They built Indian chickees and he would arrange for different ones to travel back and forth up there so that this tourist attraction could operate, and at the same time provide money for the Indians. I would say in the late '20s the first Sara De Soto Pageant was held [in Sarasota, Fla.) and he took a group. up there. John Ringling and a few of the circus people came down, set up a place for them to stay--that is they drove stakes and put a roped in enclosure so it would keep the people from coming in and molest ing them or bothering them. And John Ringling was out there driv ing the stakes with the roustabouts. It was quite interesting. The bus that took them up stopped at our place in Estero and the Indians got a bunch of grapefruit to take up. One Indian was standing over near the rope enclosure peeling a grapefruit to eat; somebody came up to him and said, "Do you speak English?" He said, "No." The women generally weren't allowed to learn English. The men were the only ones that learned it, because they wanted to keep the women out of contact with the white man as much as pos sible.

PAGE 8

5 We used to go down to the Green Corn Dance of the Cypress Indians nearly every year. I say we--father used to go I guess every year for all practical purposes. And very often he'd take my mother and my sister and myself with him, and Mil.ton Thompson used to come with us very often. Milton was living with us at the time. They always held it during a period known as "the lit tle moon in June," and it was usually very deep in the Everglades, isolated where they wouldn't have unwanted visitors and where they'd have privacy for their ceremonies. Several days preceding the Green Corn Dance they would send up smoke signals at noon so that the other Indians could set a course for the site of the Green Corn Dance. I remember when we were traveling by Model "T" Ford, that we could see the column of smoke in the air way off in the distance, that is, many miles (say thirty miles or more). M: I never heard that before. H: I don't know whether they did it all the time or just when the weather was right for a column of smoke, but I can remember al most like a straight finger of smoke up in the air. My father told me that's what it was and where it was, and we would head for it. It was usually at least a two days. trip from Fort Myers, because traveling through the woods and swamps was slow. We'd usually camp out on the way, and sometimes maybe twice. They'd usually hold it on an island in a cypress head or hammock. You would hardly know there was anything there; you might go through water getting in to it. If you were traveling on what was known as an ox trail or ox cart trail, the stumps were cut too high for a Model "T" and you had a lot of chopping to do to get in. This Green Corn Dance would last, I'd say, five to seven days, during which time they would have their dances and visits, and if they had any trials to be held, the medicine man would hold the trials and their sentences would be executed. And at the end of that time, they would go through something similar to our New Year's, where they would wipe the slate clean and start the new year fresh. They would go through a day of fasting, and then they would purge themselves with emetics, and vomit. Then they would make a little tent, maybe four feet high covered with buckskin. They would heat rocks and put them in a hole under the tent, and the--I don't remember the women or children doing this--but the men would get in the tent one at a time and pour water on the hot rocks and get a steam bath. This caused them to sweat, and was part of their cleansing ritual. Another part of the ceremony was scratching their arms with needles, most of the men. You could see white scratch marks running up and down

PAGE 9

6 their arms where they were scratched in the ceremony. After the scratching and the cleansing operation, then they'd have a big feast--everybody'd eat. There was some drinking there--the Indians grew some sugar cane and they would distill their own whiskey. I call it whiskey, it was probably more like a rum, but it was clear as water, had a kind of a sweet taste, I pre sume--it had a sweet smell anyway. I was too young to try it, so I don't know what it tasted like. M: Milton Thompson tried it, he said. H: He might've. I don't remember ever tasting any of it. M: Said he got pretty drunk on it, because he didn't really under stand the potency of it. H: Well, he might have. It was right potent. You could tell by the smell of it that it was a kind of a sweet drink probably, and probably high potency . .And they seemed to sober up soon and not have any hangover from it. M: In the doctoring, had the Indians regularly gone to medics before, or was your grandfather the first doctor they ever resorted to? H: I don't know, but I would guess that they hadn't been to doctors, because for the first .thing, there wasn't many doctors. There was another doctor in this area before my grandfather, but he was a cattleman primarily. Although he was an M.D., I've never heard of him doing any practicing in medicine locally--Tom Lang ford. M: I talked to a nurse .•. Helen Peters. I don't know if you ever met her over in Clewiston. I went down there and talked to her . .And she was a nurse at the hospital in Clewiston when the sugar company ran it, before it became a county property. She was around there, she told me, when the Indians for the first time ever came to the hospital. H: Yeah, well that was many years later. M: Yeah, it probably was. And they camped out in the yard [of the hospital] a whole bunch of them H: Yeah, they used to come in when they'd get sick. I can remember when I was a kid that different ones would come in and be in the hospital here, and there was a nurse in the hospital named Margaret Mickle. One of my father's favorite stories was going over to the

PAGE 10

7 hospital one day and Miss Margaret was telling them that this particular Indian liked her. She said, "He likes me very much. I'm really impressed with how much he likes me.". So my father knew he couldn't speak English, so he asked her, he said, "Well how can you tell he likes you?" She said, "Well, sir, every morning when I walk in the first thing he says is 'Li-kee, li-kee.'" Well, Daddy laughed, because that was their word for having a bowel movement. He said he wanted to go--he just wanted a bed pan. But she misunderstood him. M: How'd your grandfather communicate with them? H: Well, my father could speak the language. He learned how to speak it. M: Did he learn to speak it pretty comprehensively? H: I'd say so. He started a dictionary on it one time. I don't know what became of it, but he never did finish it, MRS. H: Your sister tried to publish it at one time. H: But I also speak some of it, enough to generally make myself understood. M: Have you kept up with it, so you could go out and talk with them still? H: Yes, I don't think I've forgotten too much of it. But I usually had just enough to make myself known. If they wanted to know what I was talking about, or if they wanted to communicate with meJ they could do it. But my father usually made us--at homelearn to ask for food and stuff in Indian, so that we would learn. And another thing he conned me into: Money wasn't plentiful, and as kids, if we wanted to get some money from him--anickle or a dime or pennies or whatever it was in those days--and he was with someone, he taught us to come up and ask him in Indian. I'd walk up and say, "I-nee kee-naw-ee su-bon-o nock-a-nee." It means, nI money want, man," in Miccosukee. And then he could very conveniently say, "I-nee (I) i-tee (don't have or without)," or "Kee-nawee (money) i-tus (gone or none)"--"I haven't got any." And we would go merrily along our way without embarrasing him to . tell someone else that he was out of funds. At the same time, I realized as we grew up that we may have been taken in at times by these little rules, where if it was asked in English he may have been put on the spot to produce more than by concealing our questions.

PAGE 11

8 M: While on the health subject--not relating to your grandfather, but it makes me think of it--have'you over the years any special observations on Indian health or problems that they have? H: No, but well, they generally are in pretty good health, and a large part of it, I think, is because of open-air living. A good many of the Indians that were forced to go to Oklahoma by the government my father always said in his opinion that there was an awful lot of death by tuberculosis, because they took them out there and put them into houses. And they weren't adapted to living in the white man's houses. Also, probably the climate had a lot to do with it. But we never had any tuberculosis in the Indians in this country, that I know of, nor other sicknesses out of the normal. So generally I'd say they were in good health. M: They went barefooted so much--what about hookworm and so on? You always read that in Florida you havealot of trouble with this. H: I have no idea. I never heard of any. M: You never saw any of this? H: no reason to know whether they had hookworms or not. However, their medicine men, who were like a board of directors The Seminole Indians, in spite of the newspaper titles that's bestowed on different Indians of chief this, and chief that, to the best of my knowledge the last chief the Seminoles had was Osceola. And they never put the power of making war on the white man into the hands of one man after that. They operated on a tribal council basis with what they called their medicine men who knew the lore of herbs and how to take care of them and cure them--cure them by native herbs and berries and what have you. They also act as the judge and jury for their trials. M: Do you remember crippled Indians, Stanley, as you grew up? H: Yes, I remember one back in the late '2Os when we were living in Estero. There was a little restaurant sandwich shop over on the river, and I was over there one day when several Indians stopped there to get some sandwiches and coffee or coke, or something to eat, and I stopped in with them and got to talking. I knew them, and there was one Indian that had his arm broken between his wrist and elbow about midway. And all he had was about like a hand kerchief tied around the break, and every time he moved the arm it would just hand down and lob like a snake or There was no splint or anything to hold it, and it was a strange experience for me--I'd never seen one like that before.

PAGE 12

M: You mean this had happened long in the past and •.. ? H: I don't know how long before. M: Was he in pain whenever it did this? 9 H: No, it didn't seem to bother him, and it never'd been splinted up and grown back. It was my understanding at the time that the ends of the bones had eroded to rounded ends--either that or the bones had grown over. But the ends were ..• ! don't know, they [surgeons] might have been able to go in and mend them today, but at that time they didn't seem to know any. It didn't seem to bother him very much. It bothered me more than it did him. M: I would think so. Well cripples like this, was that uncommon? H: Yes, it was the only one I ever remember seeing like that. M: How about snake bites? Did you ever know of an Indian being struck by a rattler? H: Only one time I knew that. I remember at one of the Green Corn Dances one of them stepped on a ground rattler by mistake and got bit. My father used to carry a medicine chest with him, and I believe he treated it. But generally speaking, the Indians won't kill a snake. M: I've understood that. H: They'll walk around them, and their philosophy on that is that if I don't bother him, he don't bother me. But they don't kill the snakes the way the white man does. Fact is, they don't kill anything the way the white man does. Because they only kill what they need for their uses. M: And they'd never eat snakes, would they? H: I don't believe so. M: Were there other things that they wouldn't eat? Any food taboos that you happen to know about? H: I'm not aware of anything in particular. They ate a lot of fish. They'd eat garfish and turtles; deer, turkey. M: Would they eat rabbit?

PAGE 13

10 H: Rabbits and squirrels, both of them, sure. I don't remember specifically seeing them eating rabbits, but I would feel certain that rabbit would have no reason to be out of their diet. M: I suppose you ate quite a bit of Indian food with them at dif ferent times, didn't you? H: No, I don't remember ever eating any. They usually had a cooking arrangement in the camps, maybe four to eight logs that would be arranged in a star-shape, with ends together in the center. They would build a small fire in the middle of it, and if the end of a log burned out, they'd hit it on the end with an ax and drive them in together. But they tended to cook on a communal basis. One of their main staples was what they called sofkee. M: Have you tasted that? H: No, I never had the nerve. The sofkee is made in a pot like a gruel of grits and water--it's kind of s~upy, and they'd also put meat in it, stew it up, it might be beef or it might be tur tle; whatever meat they happened to have. Most of them all eat out of the same pot. They use a carved wooden spoon or ladle to stir it with, and they sometimes serve with it. Sometimes they may reach in the pot and pull out a piece of meat that they want to eat. But I never had any particular inclination to try it. I'm sure I would've been welcome if I'd wanted to try it. M: Just gone over and got the spoon and had a slurp? S: Either that or reach your fist in there and get you some of it, but my mother usually did the cooking for us and I never was hungry enough to want to try this. I was just thinking of one instance when we were at a Green Corn Dance: We usually camped out to one side of the camp, and it was usually during the rainy season and it was pouring down rain. So we were all sitting in the Model "T" touring car. One Indian--his white man's name was Abe Lincoln--he happened to be one of the guides with the trail blazers; I believe his Indian name was Asom-Hachee He came over to visit with us, and he had a fairly good snout full of this Indian booze and he was a little bit rocky on his heels, but he was standin' around talkin' my mother had taken a large sack of apples with us. He was known in the family very well, and I don't know whether the rest of us were eating apples or not ... anyway Abe reached over and got him an apple and was munching on it, and when he got ready to leave he walked off with the apple. None of us thought anything ---------------------------------------------------

PAGE 14

11 about it, but the next thing I knew, they had 01' Abe up charged with stealing an apple. Abe came over and apologized. He was still feeling no pain, and he wanted to talk himself out of it. And he came over, and I remember him saying, 11 Abe no stealin' apple, Abe take 'em ap ple. He no stealin', he take 'em." He couldn't understand it, but my father quieted them down, and nothing ever came of it. But that's an idea of how seriously they take stealing. Back about around 1928, one of the medicine men named Josie Billy M: Yeah, he's still living. H: Yes, he is. I believe he's ninety-two. He came in to see me here in Fort Myers about a month ago. He's a Baptist preacher now, and I believe that he's gotten away from the medicine man business. He and his wife were both in town; I had lunch with them. Anyway, Josie Billy had a little bit more of this Indian booze than he had any business with, but somehow--I don't know whether it was an argument or what happened--but anyway, he picked up a stick and hit another Indian in the head and killed him. Under the Indian's law, any member of this other man's family, the grieved family, that could find Josie Billy within I believe around forty-eight hours, or a couple of days, maybe three, if they find him they could shoot him and kill him; that would be the end of it. And that was during the period when we were living in Estero and when my father had some Indians at St. Petersburg, Florida, for Mr. Boutin of Southern Tours, who had a camp. They had them up there, and somehow, I don't recall how, some Indian brought him in or somebody else brought him to our house at Estero about two o'clock in the morning. My father got up, and Josie Billy told my father what had happened and what could happen to him if he wasn't hidden. So my father and Milton Thompson got up and dressed, and put him in the car, And they took him up to St. Petersburg and let him stay up there. Of course, those Indians up there didn't know anything about it. He stayed up there till over the critical period and then they brought him back. The following Green Corn Dance was rather sensitive, because Josie was a medicine man. And it was a pretty touchy subject trying one of the top men. Anyway, some of the medicine men sent in to ask my father to be sure and attend that Corn Dance. So the whole family went and the medicine men had a kind of an open area where they had the Green Corn Dance, and they had a cypress pole in the middle of the dance area. On one side they had a little square open-sided hut that had a log on

PAGE 15

12 each side of the square and a pole on each corner with a sloping roof, more what you call a one-slope roof or a shed roof thatched with palmettos. The medicine men would sit in there and do their confabbing, or watch the dances or what. So we were down there, and finally they sent over and asked my father to go join them. M: That must have been rare. H: So, he sat in with them as an advisor, and old Billy Fewell, one of the older ones--he wore a turban--walked over and took his turban off and put it on my father's head. And then he said, "Now you me, me you." And so my father sat with them as a medi cine man. And he was known up to the time of his death or for many years as the white medicine man of the Seminoles. Anyway, they asked his advice on it, and he made a recommenda tion along the lines of Solomon. He said, "If you kill this man, then you will have two families without a head." He recommended to them that they make the penalty that Josie Billy would have to take this other man's family into his camp as his own, and take care of them as long as he lived. And that's what they wound up and did. M: That's an astonishing story. I'd heard rumors to the effect that Josie had committed some kind of crime, but I never heard of it before. H: Well, Josie's brother M: It's Ingraham? H: Ingraham Billy was also a medicine man, and he was also the head medicine man. And Ingraham spoke very little English, and had probably less contact with the white man than hardly any other Indian. He used to live up Lost Man's on Turner's River. M: Is he younger or older [than Josie Billy]? H: I'd say he's a little younger. He's now living at the Big Cypress Reservation. A couple of years ago we were down there to an Indian field day on the Fourth of July. I wanted to see Ingraham, and I'd been advised not to try to see him, because I was told that you never knew what kind of mood he'd be in. Sometimes he didn't want to be bothered and it was hard to get along with him. But I wanted to see him anyway, and so I found someone that knew where he was

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M: H: M: H: MRS. H: H: MRS. H: M: 13 staying and they took me over to see him. He seemed to be very pleased to see me. I hadn't seen him probably in thirty-five years or more. He was a little difficult to talk to because he doesn't speak very much English. Still doesn't? Still doesn't. But his wife was there, and so we talked quite a bit. I had my camera with me, but unfortunately, I believe I only had one or two frames left on it. So anyway, Bob Mitchell, and I were together. Bob took me over there and knew where he was, and Josie told us where he was and we went over. It was about half a mile from where the field day was held at the Big Cypress Reservation in Hendry County. Bob didn't know how he would react, but before we got ready to leave, I asked him if he would mind me taking his picture and he said, "Ha-mun-ka-shay," which means wait. And he took off and went over into a house trailer set up there that he was stay ing in. I thought he wanted to get away where he wouldn't get his picture taken. We sat around and talked a few minutes, and next thing I know he came back for me to take his picture. He'd gone to put on his medicine man clothes so that we could take his picture. And I thought it was quite an honor to me, or to my father as the case might be, that he'd take the trouble to go get dressed in his special costume so that I could make a photo graph of him He looked good? Yeah, and I was disappointed that I didn't have any more film with me to take more pictures. Bob Mitchell got some pictures, and I got some. Here's a write-up on Josie Billy, written in 1914 by W. J. Godden, who was a doctor. There are two letters here from Josie Billy written Was Godden the Indian agent? It seemed to me like Dr. Godden •.. I may be mixing him up with Dr. Brecht, who was an Indian agent. I don't know if it was Dr. Brecht, Stanley. Some Indians say, "Dr. Godden no good--he don't like some Indians." Say, "He me tell no. Dr. Godden all right good all time. I say your friend, Josie Billy." And he [Josie] can write, then?

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MRS. 11: H: M: H: M: H: M: H: MRS. H: H: Oh, yeah. He went to school with Captain F. A. Hendry's children. Now this is not Billy Conapachee, this is Josie No, Billy Conapachee is his father. So Josie went to school, too, some? 14 Now wait a minute now, I guess Conapachee went to school. I don't know about Josie, but Conapachee came and lived with the Hendrys until Well, Josie learned a little bit about reading and writing, I guess. And don't you imagine that Conapachee taught him? Conapachee may have taught him. M: Well he must have to have written. I had no idea he could write. H: MRS. H: H: But now see, that was sixty-one years ago when he wrote that. And that he's ninety-two now, so he would've been about thirty two years-old. That again now, that was back in the year I was born [1914]. Listen, would you believe that we have here paintings and draw ings done by Seminole Indians that long ago? I want to show you a couple of them. I mentioned that in this area where they had the Green Corn dance, they had a pole in the middle. This pole was used in the afternoon to play games. The cypress pole was skinned off maybe fifteen, twenty feet up in the air; they had the bark stripped off. They used a rawhide ball probably the size of a tennis ball or smaller that they had made, and they would throw this ball up at the pole. Every time they hit the spot that had the bark off, they would score a point. The pole was squared off down below where they could mark it with charcoal for keeping score. The women and children were allowed to pick up the ball and throw it at the pole, but the men used a pair of cypress sticks that had a loop on the end with some buckskin stips or thongs across it--I'd say maybe four inches across. They'd use these handles or basket-type sticks to pick up and throw the ball.

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15 M: Do they play that any longer that you know of? H: I haven't seen them, but I haven't been where I would see them. Quite likely they do. M: Did they ever admit any of you white kids into the game? H: Oh yes. M: Did you play it? H: Yes, I used to get in andlplay with them. Every time they'd throw that ball up, if they'd hit, they'd let out a whoop. They'd let out a kind of a loud yell when they scored. Usually the dancing seems to me to have been at night. I don't recall whether theyldid any dancing in the daytime or not. But they'd make a line, and the men would be in the front and then the women and the children last. They would form a circle around the pole and they'd danceiin a circle and chant and have a kind of a foot shuffle or stomp--it wasn't dancing the way we dance. The women used to tie small turtle shells with beads onto their ankles for a rattle, and the men sometimes would have them on the end of a stick, which/ they would shake to keep time. I've joined with them in it myself. I M: In the end of the line? H: Yes. And my sister did too. But we didn't know what we were doing. M: You were just having a go~d time? I H: The different dances had symbolic meanings to them. They might have a turkey dance or a deer dance or the dance for the green corn, or they had a little different movements, and they'd panto mime the animal they were! dancing to. I M: Would just everybody chant, or were there a group of chanters? ! H: The ones dancing were chanting, and I don't know whether any of the others were or not--II don't recall. It was not a lot of chant, just a little chant. I M: Was there any instrumentation at all, or was it all vocal? I H: Just the rattles and chanting was all that I recall. I don't

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16 remember whether they had anything like a drum or a tom-tom they may have thumped to keep time--I don't recall. I can remember I took a friend of mine with us one year down to the dance. Down in this cypress area there was an open place where some flags [aquatic plants, iris savannarum] were growing, and the water was clear and a whole bunch of the Indian boys were down there swinuning, skinny dipping. And so this other boy and I decided that we wanted to join them. We knew most of them, so we went down there. Some of the Indian women were there washing clothes on the edge of the water, in a place where they'd take clothes and dip it in the water and then they'd beat them with a stick or a paddle. Anyway, we peeled off and we started wading out in that water. We got out about belly deep and it seemed like the pond was loaded with leeches. They started attaching to our thighs, and as fast as you pulled them off they would come back. It didn't seem to bother the Indian boys. I know we didn't stay in the water very long. We were back out getting rid of the leeches. They didn't hurt much, but they were annoying. They looked strange to us on our white skin in that water, seeing these black leeches. They looked like little short snakes. M: I wonder why they didn't bother the Indians? H: They may have. I don't know whether they didn't pay any atten tion to them, or whether they didn't stick to them or whether they just liked good tender white meat, or what. But we weren't in the water very long before we were out and got dressed and stop ped swimmin'. They were frolicking around playing games more than they were swimming. I don't recall it being deep enough for much swinnning. But it was probably waist deep out in the middle of this pond with cypress all around, and then these flags running around the edge. M: Did you ever strike up any close and lasting acquaintance with any of these kids that were your age, more or less? The ones you're talking about that you have seen are Josie and .•. ? H: I had one that was my age that I felt closer to than any of the others. I don't recall being real close to many of the others. This was Ingraham Billy's boy, the son of the head medicine man. Ingraham was very sick and was in the hospital in Fort Myers about 1925, it seems to me like at least a month and possibly two months. One of his brothers or one of the other Indians stayed at our place on Monroe St. to look out for him, and his son was in and staying at our place while his daddy was in there. His son was named Leek-a-lee, and was about twelve years old.

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17 Leek-a-lee and I became very good friends. He didn't know any body, and used to play with us. He wore a knee-length Indian shirt, which was the custom in those days before they started wearing pants. We used to play games, "follow the leader" and "cops and robbers" and what have you. And I remember it was al ways a question among the boys whether Leek-a-lee wore anything under his shirt. M: Under his shirt. It's like the Scot kilts, you know. H: And he never exposed himself, so we set it up to find out. We were playing follow the leader, and had me on the tail end of the thing behind Leek-a-lee. They were going around, and finally the.leader led him up a ladder. M: You were supposed to peek? H: I followed up the ladder behind Leek-a-lee, and I turned and looked up and he didn't have anything on under it, but he also looked down at about the same time and he very quickly tucked his skirts in between his legs and covered himself up. But he caught me peeking. M: Well, are they shy that way, do you think, in general? H: Well, I'd say they are very modest. M: Although they were swimming in the naked, as you said. H: Well that was among themselves, and I guess anybody'd be shy if they saw somebody peeking. And that's what we were doing--we were satisfying our curiosity. M: What's become of that boy--is he still living, or do you know? H: No. That was a very sad story. I was out of contact with him for many years. The Indians always handled their own law and their own justice, and the white man left them alone. He got into a situation that was down in Collier County, and all I know is hearsay on it. But another Indian, I believe, was hanging around and messing with his wife, or trying to. And my under standing is that Leek-a-lee warned him off, and warned him off; but he kept on anyway. Leek-a-lee killed him. I don't recall whether he shot him, or hit him, or Anyway, at this particular time, which was unusual, the white man's justice took over. The sheriff arrested him and put him in the jail. And eventually,

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M: H: M: H: M: H: 18 he was sentenced to serve time in Raiford. He got up to Raiford and he was very despondent. I should think so. Bob Mitchell is probably more familiar with it. I didn't know about it until after it was all over. I think Bob was working he was trying to help him get released, or get him paroled or pardoned or something. He shouldn't have been in there in the first place, in my opinion. But before they effected it, he hung himself. Couldn't stand the confinement. I may be wrong on what happened, but he died before he got out of prison (this was after World War II). While his father was in the hospital here, my father had bought a new Studebaker touring car. I believe my sister and I and my mother were up at my grandfather's at Tarpon Springs. Anyway, my father was going to come up to get us, and he brought Leek-a-lee with him. Then we went from there to my mother's brother's, or my uncle's, at Green Cove Springs; he had a drug .store there. [We] took Leek-a-lee with us on this trip, which was quite a trip. I doubt if he'd ever been further away than Fort Myers from the Everglades country. I remember we were staying in a hotel with him--probably Jacksonville. Leek-a-lee was playing a game. He would step into the clothes closet and shut the door and step out, and he was singing a little song: "Yot-lo-chay chikee-wan-tee." Yot lo-chay is their word for a colored person, and chickee-wan-tee is a jail. And he was playing the game of putting the nigger in the jail. It seems to me like on that expedition that he got his finger in a light socket--one of these wall sockets, when they used to have the screw plugs--and he got quite a shocking sur prise. But I don't think he experimented any more. How old was he at this time? I'd say twelve or thirteen, right along in there. Was he still wearing the short skirt or was he ? That must've been '25 or 1 26. I was about eleven or twelve, and he was about the same age I was. Yes, he was wearing the skirts. That was during the time when he was at our place for a couple of months while his father was in the hospital. We got up to my uncle's; he had a drugstore and soda foun tain, and my uncle told his soda jerk to give the kids anything they want. He set in to see how much he could get into Leek-a lee and the rest of us. And we nearly foundered on soda water arid

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19 ice cream sodas and what have you. I don't know if he ever did get Leek-a-lee filled up, but he was going strong. After we left Jacksonville, we came down the east coast and my father took Leek-a-lee on a visit to Fort Marion at St. Augus tine. We got in after the regular guided tour had started. And we were following behind at some distance, My father was telling Leek-a-lee about the story of the fort, and about Osceola being held there as a captive. We took him into the room where they held him prisoner, showed him where he dug the toe holds to climb up to where he could watch the troops drilling in the fort, and showed him where the other Indians had starved themselves so they could squeeze out betwen the bars. They got out and Osceola refused to escape. M: He was sick anyway, I think. H: I don't know how sick he was at that time, but anyway, Leek-a-lee knew the story and knew more about the fort than we did. M: Did he? That's interesting. H: They pass their history down by word of mouth, and he was well versed in the whole thing. Of course he was talking to my father and a lot of it I didn't understand or get. father was quite surprised with how much he knew. very in Indian But my M: Well, when you were traveling like this in that time with a person in Indian costume who was quite conspicuous, what was the reaction of Floridians in general? Was it a spectacle to them, or do you remember even paying any attention to him? I mean this boy in a little short skirt H: I'm sure they were interested, but I don't remember anything extraordinary. M: You don't remember anything being feeling conspicuous or any~ thing? H: The Indians tended to want to emulate the white man and wear white man's clothing. And my father always resisted it as much as he could. He used his influence to keep them in the Seminole clothing or costume. My father always encouraged the Indians to wear Indian clothing as an identification as Indians. I don't know of the Indians ever being refused admittance to restaurants or picture shows or anything else, as long as they were traveling as Indians. But occasionally, or when they were dressed in white

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20 man's clothing, they were mistaken for Negroes, and they weren't made as welcome as they might have been as Indians. He tried to encourage them to keep or maintain their identity as much ,as possible. And the Indians never, to my knowledge, did any mixing with the colored, although they did assimilate some escaped slaves back before and during the Seminole Indian wars. There's one family that--Indian Dixie--apparently had Negro blood in them, because they had the kinky hair and •... But they never seemed to mix much with them (the colored people) or have much talk with them (not Dixie's family). I can tell you a little more about the costumes. Back in the '20s the men used to wear knee-length Indian shirts. The women wore them down to the ground, and they tied around their waists. And they had a more like a shawl, or well, let's see, it covered the upper abdomen and the chest area. It's more like a jacket with a kind of a cape built into it that came-down and around. Another interesting thing, they wore tremendous numbers of beads around their necks. I heard a question asked my father when he was lecturing--did they take the beads off when they went to bed at night? And his answer was he didn't know, because he'd never been to bed with one of them. But I have seen them when they were taking their beads off, and I was :quite surprised to find that they took a long string of beads and doubled them back and forth until they got a number of strands, and then they hooked a piece of string through one side and put it around the neck and hooked it to the other one and tied it. And then if they wanted to get it off, they just clipped this little piece of string and the whole clump of them would come off at one time. They clip a few tie strings and they take probably the whole works off for washing or whatever they want to. I don't believe that they would take them off at night, but they might. M: Well now, when they were just around the camp, and not dressed for an occasion, did they wear those beads? H: The women wore them all the time. It would be a very rare oc casion when you'd see one without all those beads on. M: Did you ever have the feeling they were suffering from the heat? In the heat of summer, did you have any impression one way or another? H: No, I don't think it bothered them. I guess they could slosh down with water and cool the beads off, and it'd act as a coolant. And the evaporation of water would act as a coolant if they were having any problem, but I have never seen them do that even.

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21 They had an unusual women's hairstyle. They used to put a piece of cardboard in the front, and would run the hair out and over this cardboard and back, and they'd have a kind of a long visor of hair running out from the top of the forehead. M: Yeah, I know what it looks like. H: But I didn't know if you knew that they had cardboard inside to hold it. M: Yes, I'd heard that. H: It seemed to be the style. Looked like they kept seeing how much further they could get it to go out. Now, of course, you don't see it like that very often today. They 1 have their hair cut more or less like white women. M: The men kept their hair cut, I guess? H: Well they had hair cut then fairly short. M: Who cut it? Do you know? H: Well, I guess they cut it. I don't think they had a barber. I don't know whether the wives cut it, or who cut it. M: But somebody in the family cut it? H: I assume so. I don't remember ever seeing one of them getting a haircut. The Indian clothing--multi-colored They would buy calico, and then tear it into strips and sew it together. They used a small Singer sewing machine that they turned by hand, instead of a foot pedal. They're probably using electrics today, because they have electricity in a lot of the chickees. But back in times that I was speaking of, they'd turn it by hand and crank them. And these clothes designs were worked up and sewn together out of small bits or strips. The clothing they made for their own use was much prettier and much more intricately designed than the clothing that they might make to sell in their roadside camps. M: You know, I was just looking at this letter, and it comes up, and I wanted to ask you: with regard to verbs, they never seem to get what we would call the tense right. For instance, here he is: "Dear Friend, I write you letter and I stay Immokalee now." Have you got any comment to make on that, and what you've learned about the language?

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22 H: They get them right in their own context, but they reverse their verbs like they do in Spanish. As an example, Okeechobee--okee is water, chobee is big; it means water big. However, we call it big water. But they put the emphasis on the noun ahead of the verb. M: That was their only basic .•. ? H: Well, I think if we're a neophyte trying to talk Spanish, and if we're using Spanish words and put it together like English, we would be backwards to the Spaniards. M: But this leads me to believe, looking at it, that maybe they only use one tense. See, "I write you and I stay," and don't inflect the verb so much. H: Well, bear in mind that they're talking in the white man's lan guage: they're Indians, so M: Sure, I know. But I just thought maybe this reflected their own language. MRS. H: Do you know whether they had a tense, Stanley? How would they say, "I came yesterday"? H: I don't know how they'd say it, but I'm sure they could. M: But you know, in Chinese, for instance, they say, "I go yesterday," or something, and don't inflect the verb as we do. H: They say, "I go yesterday," instead of "I went yesterday"? M: Yeah. They don't inflect the verb. H: So far as I know, the Indians would probably do the same, but don't know. Did you know there's two groups of Indians, and their language is entirely different? M: You had mostly to do with the Miccosukees? H: Yes, the Big Cypress Indians are Miccosukees. M: You haven't had to do with the Brighton people, have you? H: Very little. Their language is so different that although their customs are similar, they'd usually connnunicate in English. As

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23 an example, the Big Cypress Indians say Hum-pee-kee for bad. And the Cow Creeks say Holee-waug-us. Our Indians say Kee-homee for whiskey; and they say Wyomee and ...• M: It's entirely different? H: Yes. The Indians, incidentally, don't have any cuss words. If they want to swear, they have to use English. Back in the mid-thirties, my father was commissioned by Henry Ford, who was here very much at the time with his friend Edison. And my father was close to Edison, too, because of his connection through his. father, who had been Edison's doctor. But anyway, Henry Ford commissioned my father to make a collec tion of Indian lore and artifacts. He wanted to set up a section in his museum in Dearborn. And my father worked on it for him for many months. He went to every Indian camp in the state of Florida, to the best of his knowledge and the Indians' knowledge, he made a complete census of all the Indians in the state. He kept it up for some time as best as he could. But there were, I believe, about two boxcars of material shipped up to Dearborn. And they had the Indian canoes--that is, dugouts--shipped up, and they sent a special car [that] opened on the end down here to load the stuff for shipment. An end-opening boxcar, it was a big one. And so far as I know, the thing was never put upit was put in storage in Dearborn. M: I was going to ask you if it was on display. H: I've never heard of it being but all of this stuff was sent up there and then stored. M: Gee, that's a shame. It might've been a priceless collection. H: He took two Indians with him on this trip. One was Johnny Cy press and another one was Richard Osceola; he was a Cow Creek Indian. They were both about the same age, and they became very good friends. And in fact, the Cow Creek Indian wound up mar rying one of Johnny Cypress's sisters (Lena Cypress) and came over and I believe lived with the Indians here. But that would be normal, because the Indians liked having girl babies. When the girls get married, the husband goes and lives in the camp of the girl, or the girl's father. And so you build a big family or a big camp by having girls, because instead of the girls going off to live with the men, the men come over and become a part of the camp where their wives are. M: You remind me of something that the nurse, Miss Peters, told me. Did you ever see any discrimination with regard to twins? Ever run into this?

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24 H: I don't recall ever seeing any twins. M: Well she told me that they just let one twin die usually. H: If it's so, I never heard anything to that effect. On the other hand, I may have run into twins and not been aware of it. I guess they would have twins the same as anyone else. M: Yeah, but her story was--and this was apparently an authentic affair; she witnessed it--but one of the women had twins and would not have anything to do with the one twin. H: How did they decide which one they weren't going to have anything to do with? M: I don't know. She couldn't talk to 'em, but the child died finally and H: Well, I don't have any personal knowledge, but I would be skeptical of it as it being the custom. Because it just doesn't sound like the Indians to me. I've never seen them mistreat their children, or abuse them in any way, although they'd demand discipline and respect. M: Do you remember the traders? There were specific people that were involved in the Indian trade business, I suppose. H: Well, the only one I can think of was the main one was an old Jew; his name was Garfunkel. He used to have an army and navy store here right after World War I. And he had a young fella working for him whose name was Johnny Fohl. Eventually, Johnny Fohl wound up with the business, and old Garfunkel wound up out of it--I don't know anything about howithappened or what kind of arrangement. But Johnny traded with the Indians for many years. And later he had a fairly large hardware business in Fort Myers. M: There was a family named Brown. H: Yeah, they were down in the Immokalee area mostly. M: Did you ever run into any of them? The old man just died, I understand. H: I knew the Browns. M: Did you ever know Stranahan over in Fort Lauderdale?

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25 H: No. I knew the name. M: Mrs. Stranahan was .a great champion of the Indians apparently; had a good deal to do with them. Well now, when they showed up in your back yard, as you mentioned, how much trouble were they? They'd just turn up in the night as you said? H: They were no trouble. They would come and go day or night. M: Did they complicate your life? Were they.demanding in any way? H: MRS. H: H: MRS. H: H: No, they'd stay there. I liked to go out and visit with them, We had a kind of a storeroom that they used to stay in a lot, unless it was a large group of them, and they'd bring their own well, they didn't have tents as much as they used to have mosquite bars; they called them flies. And sometimes they'd have a thing like a sheet they would string up to keep the sun off of them. And I guess it would shed water. But your daddy eventually had two chickees built? Well now, they were built there during this Henry Ford episode. When the Indians were there working out of them, they built them I guess. Henry Ford probably paid for the chickees or paid for the time in building them. I remember that they took down some chickees to ship up to Dearborn and they stripped all the palm fronds off and re-thatched them before they shipped them so that they would be fresh and not as fragile as after they had been dried out for a long time. And they got those thatched up, and then Johnny Cypress was thatching the one that he called his house or his chickee in the backyard. And my father made a com ment to Johnny-he said, "Johnny, how come you put them on thicker on this one?" Johnny looked at him with a kind of disgust, and said, "This my house." He was putting the fronds on probably 50% thicker on the one that he was going to use than the one they thatched to go to Dearborn. Stanley, you told me also that your mother had them sleeping on the front porch at times. Well, they'd get overcrowded sometimes, but it was just "come in and stretch out." We had a screened porch; the mosquitoes were bothersome. M: Just sleep on the boards, or did they have any kind of beds?

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H: Well, they probably had a blanket under them. M: But nothing more than that, huh? 26 H: They didn't have mattresses, but under the chickees they have a platform that they slept on that's about thirty inches off the ground. Made of split cypress logs. M: Were they in the habit of lying flat on that? H: Yes, they were used to sleeping on that. They might have had a couple of layers of blankets up under them, but I don't recall. M: That's pretty hard sleeping if you're not used to it. H: Well, if you're tired, you can sleep on .anything. M: I always found sleeping on the ground was pretty tough, myself. H: Yes, I have too. But I don't recall ever seeing them using any mattresses or padding. They possibly may have had a thin pad of something that I didn't notice. I didn't have any particular reason to be checking up on that particular practice, though. M: You spoke about their going up to Sarasota, and the circus staking out some place for them. Did any of them there ever travel with the circus? H: Not that I know of. Although at the Century of Progress in Chicago [a world's fair held in 1933-1934], they had a Seminole Indian village. Had a group of probably twenty, twenty-five Indians there. M: Where'd they come from, the Big Cypress? H: Big Cypress. I don't know who put that together. I don't think my father was involved with it. I went to the World's Fair in I guess probably '33. And I made the round trip on twenty-five dollars. I had, fortunately, an aunt in Chicago that I stayed with, or I never would've been able to make it even in those days. But anyway, my expenses at the World's Fair consisted mainly of admission. They had plenty of free stuff, but I didn't have any money to go into the different shows and things; that took an admission price to get into. I was watching the Seminole Indians, and the barker out front to get peo ple to come in. Part of the barker's comments were that no Indian

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M: H: M: H: M: H: M: H: MRS. H: H: M: H: 27 woman was permitted to speak to a white man, and if they did, they would be immediately executed. It wasn't long before I got inside. I don't remember whether I paid admission, or whether some Indian came by and took me in or what. Did you know some of them? Oh yes. I knew most of them. I would dare say that one of the Indians that was on the outside on the platform that they were showing to get the crowds probably saw me and took me in. And while I was in there, they took me in behind the roped area. I was sitting in under the chickee with them, talking in my broken English and Indian. Some of the people were quite shocked to see me talking with the women. You were going to get executed if you ... ? No, the women talking with me, from what they'd heard out front. Of course, that was not true to fact, what they were telling them out front. But I was just sitting there laughing and joking. The women there were very shy, but if you knew them they would laugh when you'd kid them about something and they'd gotten the point, and they have got a lot more humor in them than meets the eye of a stranger. Somebody stubs their toe and falls down, they all laugh and think it one of the biggest jokes they ever saw. I wonder who made any money out of that project at the World's Fair, if anybody, and where it went? I have no idea how much the Indians got. I don't know anything about it, except .•. all I know is they were there. I knew them and visited inside with them several times while I was there. That's quite a story. It would be interesting to know who organized that, and whether the Indians got any money, or if somebody flim flammed them out of it. Well, I'm sure they were paying, but how much I don't know. You could probably find out from some of them, couldn't you, Stanley? I don't remember now which ones were up there. Must've been quite an experience for them. See, '33--that would be forty-two years ago. They were grown In dians that went, they didn't take many kids up there, but there were families.

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MRS. H: 28 But I think they would be young; they wouldn't be the older Indians. H: I don't have the slightest idea which ones were up there. M: Ross Allen, I don't think would have been mixed up in that. He always had a little colony at Silver Springs, or did for years. They aren't there any longer, but they'd go up there and stay, you know. But I think they were Creeks, rather than Mic cosukee. H: They probably were; I don't know. M: Thefamily here, the old lady was named Jim, Annie Jim. Is that a name you hear ? H: Well, they had some Jims over here; one of them was named Boy Jim. M: Well, I don't know where he got them but they were •... H: The manager of this Silver Springs is a Fort Myers boy. M: Well, maybe they were Miccosukees. H: One of the big movie and television companies got them. And the boy started off in Fort Myers when he was in high school taking tickets on the door in a picture-show here, and then he hung around the projectors and finally they gave him a little picture-show in Arcadia. He went out and worked his way up. He was just a high school graduate. When they had bought that Silver Springs out, he was the one they picked and let him run it. His brother lives here now, and he was telling me he (Mark Dupree, the manager of Silver Springs) is getting ready to retire. I think it is probably his last year. M: Going back to the Green Corn Dance, were you able to get in there all the way in a car? You didn't have to walk to the last part of it, or anything? H: No, we M: You got around like the Indians out there? Did most of them? H: They got there just about any way they could. Some of them came in old Model "T"s; some of them came in ox carts; some of them walked.

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29 M: You remember the ox carts, do you? They used them. Did they ride horseback much? H: I don't recall any of them on horseback. For many years after the Seminole Indian wars, the Indians, by their own ruling, were not allowed to have any cattle. M: No, I didn't know that. H: They stayed away from cattle to keep from getting into conflicts with the white man. M: Oh yes. H: The white man claimed that they had stolen the cattle and not only that, they'd come steal the Indians' cattle. So for many years, they wouldn't have any cattle. M: Well, I never realized that, but I had heard the thing about being afraid that they'd get them into a confrontation. H: There may be exceptions to what I'm saying, but by and large, they didn't and they weren't running herds of cattle. They may have had occasional cattle, but they weren't in the cattle busi ness, so to speak. M: When you were around the Green Corn Cance, besides your father's party, were there other white people there, or were you the only ones? Do you remember? H: I don't recall any other white people being there. It seems like maybe one time another group of white people may have stumbled into it by accident, or came by, or got into it, but I'm very vague on it. M: Well, how were you treated in general while the Green Corn Dance ? H: Just like one of the family. M: You were? Were you present at all of it? H: Oh yes. Any of it you wanted to, if you wanted to stay up that late at night. Of course, I was twelve or thirteen years old, along in that age bracket, and my night activities were limited. If you'd been playing all day, you had to go to sleep. M: Yes. So were you present at any of the trials? Any sentencing that you recall?

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30 H: Oh, they had the trials more or less in privacy--the medicine men attended it. They didn't all hang in there to see how the trial's going. And I don't remember ever being over there. I remember this one going on when I was staying over at our camp. I remember the incident. But I wasn't sitting over there in the medicine men's group, and generally speaking, as I recall, the rest of the Indians stayed away from it too when they were attending to busi ness. M: How about the scratching? Have you personally observed or witnes sed that? H: I believe so, but I wasn't up there where I could see good from where we were camping. I've seen the arms with the fresh scratches on it, and little scabby areas where they were healing afterwards. I don't specifically remember watching them do it. Unless it was late at night I would probably have seen it, but I don't have any recollection of it. M: Do you specifically remember the purging, the vomiting and so on? H: I can remember them vomiting. M: The black drink? H: They went over to the edge of the camp and the grassy areas where the palmettos were to vomit. M: Did you ever taste this so-called black drink? H: No, sir. I never heard it called black drink. They had another custom that might be of interest. The women, when the time for the monthly period came on, would go off and set up a camp off away from the camp until they were finished, and then come back. Make their camp off there maybe about a hundred yards or a quarter of a mile off, in a little tent. And they'd stay over there and do their own cooking. And when they'd get over it, then they'd come back into the camp.