Cross to Freedom
The allies camped near Fort Duncan, awaiting permission to cross into Mexico. Within days, however, word reached them that a party of slavers was heading their way. Stealing from the fort in the dead of night, the allies once again separated into two groups, Indians and blacks. The
Black Seminoles made their way to a crossing near El Moral, Mexico. The river was high. Eight decades later in 1930, Becky Simmons, a member of the first party to cross, recalled the event:
"I neber would forgit dat time. Chulluns about to cry out cause dey is sleepy and de oluns scared dat dey is going to start aballin' out before we can get ober."
The men lashed together logs to make rafts. Like their ancestors on the Suwannee three decades earlier, they ferried the women and children across the river.
By daybreak, the epic journey was over.
Sources: Foster 42-43, Mulroy 58, Porter Black 130-31.
Part 3, Exile: l