Rebellion 1876 - 1890s     
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Seminole Negro Indian Scouts, 1890s
Detachment of Seminole Negro Indian Scouts in uniform, circa 1890. Original photograph is at the Museum of the Big Bend, Sul Ross University.
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Fort Clark

In Texas, the scouts and their families continued to squat on lands near Fort Clark, hoping for a resolution to “the treaty” of 1870, which they understood as a promise of land. Bullis, Mackenzie, General C.C. Augur, and General E.O.C. Ord were just some of the leading officers who tried to persuade the Office of Indian Affairs to settle the situation by granting lands in Texas, Florida, or Oklahoma. Their work was in vain, as bureaucratic obstacles combined with racist politics to prevent any resolution.

It did not help that the military necessity of the scouts was dwindling over the same period. After major expeditions in 1876 and 1877, the scouts did not have another encounter with hostile Indians until 1881. They fought their last Indian battle in April 1881, tracking a band of Lipan Apaches who had committed robbery and murder. This was the last major Indian raid in southwest Texas. Fittingly, black warriors led the counter-response that closed the Texas frontier.

The scouts remained an active contingent on the frontier into the next century. Though their unit retained its name, however, the group became increasingly mixed ethnically, adding Hispanics and “state-raised” blacks who had no direct ties to the maroons. As the glory days of their Indian tracking receded, the scouts also faded into obscurity; their absence from the historical record made it all the easier for myths of white men taming the wild frontier to take full hold in the popular imagination.

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Sources: Porter Black 206-207. ©
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
+ Liberty Foretold
+ Liberty Found
Los Mascogos
Fort Clark
 + Legacy & Conclusion