Rebellion 1800 - 1835     
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Firearms of the period
Common firearms of the period. Top to bottom: 1756 Spanish musket, 1763 French fusil made for the Indian trade, 1817 U.S. common rifle. The Seminoles used Spanish rifles and muskets similar to the top two firearms. American soldiers in each of the Seminole wars used Brown Bess muskets and standard-issue rifles like the Hall's. Images courtesy of Track of the Wolf.
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Living Conditions

The maroons enjoyed another unusual privilege -- the right to bear arms. With Spanish muskets for hunting and self-defense, they formed a formidable force. Their freedom was striking to outsiders, many of whom had only seen African Americans under southern slavery. After visiting the Black Seminoles in 1822, William Simmons called them "the finest looking people I have ever seen." Surgeon Jacob Rhett Motte, who met the blacks in the 1830s, had a different opinion, believing that the "diabolical looking wretches" had too much pride:

"They had none of the servility of our northern blacks, but were constantly offering their dirty paws with as much hauteur and nonchalance as if they were conferring a vast deal of honor."

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Sources: Simmons 76, Motte 210, Mahon 120-1.
Part 1, Early Years: Outline  l  Images
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 Trail Narrative
 + Prologue
 + Background: 1693-1812
 - Early Years: 1832-1838
+ World at Birth
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Seminole Slavery
Living Conditions
Afro-Indian Culture
+ Encroaching America
+ A New Country
 + War: 1832-1838
 + Exile: 1838-1850
 + Freedom: 1850-1882
 + Legacy & Conclusion


Was it slavery?