Rebellion Picture Tour: 1689 - 1882     
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Micanopy by Charles Bird King

Micanopy, Chief of the Seminoles
Lithograph, McKenney-Hall, 1858.

Throughout John Horse's youth, Black Seminoles lived in separate, well-armed black communities. Many individual blacks were considered slaves of the leading Indian chiefs, like the principal chief Micanopy, and yet the blacks were able to retain firearms, live apart from their masters, and select their own leaders. Observers in the 1820s and 1830s described Seminole slavery as a mild system, much closer to feudalism than the South's peculiar institution. The system would change in later years, creating serious conflicts between blacks and their Indian masters.

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