Rebellion April 1840     
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John Horse, from Sprague's 1848 history
John Horse, as he appeared around 1840. Source of the original sketch unknown. The engraving, entitled "Gopher John Seminole Interpreter," first appeared in Sprague's 1848 history of the war, attributed to the firm of N. Orr & Richardson. A similar engraving by Orr appeared in Giddings' 1858 history, with slight alterations. For a comparison of the two, see the more detailed commentary in key images.
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While officers and lawmakers debated the war, their former adversary enjoyed his new role as a peacemaker and interpreter. For John Horse, this was a period of comparative prosperity. The sole image of him that may have been drawn from life comes from this time. The engraving shows a handsome guide decked out in Seminole tunic, leggings, jewelry, and headdress. Called "Gopher John" by the soldiers, he was universally recognized for his good humor, diplomacy, and above all, excellence in the frontier skills of hunting, shooting, tracking, and cooking. Legends of the Negro scout persisted in U.S. Army lore as late as 1873.

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Sources: Sprague Origin 459, McCall 399-401, Wilhelm 1: 154.
Part 3, Exile: Outline  l Images
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 Trail Narrative
 + Prologue
 + Background: 1693-1812
 + Early Years: 1812-1832
 + War: 1832-1838
 - Exile: 1838-1850
+ Shifting Alliances
spacer spacer Enemy to Ally
National Debate
Creek Tensions
Endangered Alliance
+ American Justice
+ A New Frontier
 + Freedom: 1850-1882
 + Legacy & Conclusion


McCall describes "Gopher John" circa 1842, interpreter, fisherman, chef

The "Gopher" tells McCall a story about his dog "Fuse"

Description of John Horse in U.S. Army lore