SEPTEMBER 10, 1852

SEMINOLE ALICE BROWN DAVIS BORN—FIRST FEMALE SEMINOLE PRINCIPAL CHIEF

Born at Park Hill, Indian Territory, her father, a Scottish physician, went with the Seminole on the Trail of Tears; her mother’s Tiger clan provided the tribal leaders.  Her brother, John F. Brown, later became principal chief.  While accepting acculturation, the family valued its heritage and education.  In 1884, she & her husband established a trading post & a ranch.  After his death, she was a postmistress while running the post & ranch and raising 10 children.  Alice later became superintendent of the Seminole girls’ school and investigated tribal claims of a Mexican land grant.  In 1922, President Harding appointed her as principal chief—the 1st woman to head the Seminole Nation.  The key issue was Federal efforts to force the Seminole to cede land to the Creek Nation.  She refused to sign the deeds.  Alice remained chief until her death on June 21, 1935.  She was elected to both the Oklahoma & American Indian Halls of Fame.  A bronze bust of her was unveiled at the 1964 World’s Fair on Oklahoma Day. 

Source:  Paula Waldowski, “Alice Brown Davis, A Leader Of Her People,” Seminole Nation, I.T.  Retrieved 7/9/2020, http://www.seminolenation-indianterritory.org/alice_brown_davis.htm
Photo:  Author unknown, circa 1902. Public Domain.

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