More on Osceola: his name, plus one officer's perspective
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The English variant of his name came from the Creek words Asi-Yaholo, meaning "Black Drink Singer," which referred to a Southeastern ritual of drinking a pungent black tea (and then crying out to the deity) before important events.
By the time of the Fort King negotiations, many white officers knew Osceola under his English surname, Powell.
As a leader, however, he was just establishing himself among his adopted people. His bold opposition to the Treaty of Payne's Landing fired the imaginations of both his fellow warriors and
his future adversaries, as reflected in Lieutenant Sprague's account:
"What he said and did was the result of a momentary feeling, without previous consultations or understandings, which caused the experienced counsellors of the nation to treat him with great respect. He threw aside the ridiculous mummery of sages and prophets
... and openly declared his views and opinions, regardless of consequences....
Feeling conscientiously right himself, he infused the same spirit into others, who with renewed resolution adhered to their opposition to the
Sprague Origin 100-1.
Part 2, War: l