Rebellion 1812 - 1821     
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Map of Florida showing the Old Spanish Fields
Map of Florida territory showing the "Old Spanish Fields" south of Tampa Bay, believed to be the location of the runaway slave community known variously as Sarasota and Angola. Detail from John Lee Williams' map for his 1837 book The Territory of Florida.
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The dangers of Florida's new situation were brought home painfully to John Horse and his mother in the summer of 1821. At the time they were believed to be living in a refugee settlement outside of Tampa Bay. Scores of Black Seminoles had fled to the region after Jackson's devastating attack on the Suwannee in 1818. Settling on a tributary of Sarasota Bay, the refugees cultivated "the Old Spanish fields" along the Manatee River, near present-day Bradenton. There, they joined a small but flourishing maroon community that had been founded at least as early as 1812. A white observer described the place as the "Sarrazotta; or Runaway Negro Plantations." The residents called it Angola.

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Sources: Brown "Sarrazota," Rivers 190-91. The following account is based on Brown's rather amazing scholarly article, which uncovers this lost chapter of Florida history and presents it in vivid, well-documented detail. The article is available online -- see the academic journal articles page for details. The presumption of John Horse's whereabouts over this period again comes from Porter Black 29 based on Porter's interviews with Black Seminole descendants in the 1940s.
Part 1, Early Years: Outline  l  Images
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 Trail Narrative
 + Prologue
 + Background: 1693-1812
 - Early Years: 1832-1838
+ World at Birth
+ Encroaching America
+ A New Country
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Moultrie Creek
Slave Raiders
Gopher John
 + War: 1832-1838
 + Exile: 1838-1850
 + Freedom: 1850-1882
 + Legacy & Conclusion