Rebellion May 31, 1850     
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Marcellus Duval, contemporary rendering
Contemporary rendering based on an 1860s photograph of a U.S. Indian Agent. There is no known image of Marcellus Duval, the agent to the Seminoles in the 1840s.
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Marcellus Duval, the government subagent to the Seminoles, stoked the black-Indian tensions. Duval was continually at odds with the commanding officers at Fort Gibson, whom he viewed as having aided and abetted John Horse’s flight. Since 1847, Duval had been working with his brother, an attorney, to help Indians gain title to individual Black Seminoles. Duval and his brother stood to gain title to as many as 90 Black Seminoles in compensation for their work.

After John Horse’s flight, Seminole slaveholders asked Duval to work for them to pursue recovery of the fugitives. Duval wrote the commissioner of Indian affairs asking him to issue arrest orders. His letter resurrected an old argument—that the Black Seminole colony would provide a dangerous harbor for runaway slaves and “destroy the safety of the ... frontier.”

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Sources: Littlefield Africans and Seminoles 148, Duval to Orlando Brown, May 30 and 31, 1850, as cited in Littlefield. ©
Part 4, Freedom: Outline  l Images
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 Trail Narrative
 + Prologue
 + Background: 1693-1812
 + Early Years: 1812-1832
 + War: 1832-1838
 + Exile: 1838-1850
 - Freedom: 1850-1882
+ Cost of Freedom
spacer spacer Arrival
Second Exodus
Border Etiquette
Duval's Desserts
Indian Killers
End of an Era
+ Liberty Foretold
+ Liberty Found
 + Legacy & Conclusion