JULY 12, 1850

BLACK SEMINOLES JOHN HORSE & COACOOCHEE & KICKAPOO CROSS RIO GRANDE

Born in Florida circa 1812, Horse, a Seminole slave of African American, Indigenous & Spanish descent, became a subchief during the 2nd Seminole War (1835–42). Surrendering in 1838 & freed in 1843, he convinced many Seminoles, including Coacoochee (“Wild Cat”), to move to Indian Territory. However, Seminoles were forced to reside with the Creek who employed chattel slavery, vice the servitude form among Seminoles. When resulting tribal friction led to efforts to re-enslave Black Seminoles, Horse & Wild Cat led a band across the Red River toward Mexico in late 1849. For a land grant in the state of Coahuila, Black Seminoles fought for Mexico against the Apache, Comanche, and Texas filibusters. Horse, also known as “Juan Caballo,” became a Mexican army captain and later an interpreter at Fort Duncan, Texas, where Black Seminoles served as U.S. Army scouts in the 1870s. When the U.S. failed to help Black Seminoles relocate to the Seminole Nation, Horse went to Mexico and died there in 1882.

Source: Jon D. May (2009). "Horse, John (ca. 1812-1882)". Oklahoma Historical Society: Encyclopedia of Oklahoma History & Culture.  Retrieved 12/26/2021, Horse, John | The Encyclopedia of Oklahoma History and Culture (okhistory.org)
Engraving: N. Orr, 1848. Public Domain.  Source:  The Origin, Progress, and Conclusion of the Florida War, by John T. Sprague (1848).

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