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African-Native American Genealogy Forum

Re: Nuthcup Harjo Band/Seminole

Learning the history of the nations helps. I am sensing that the Seminole and Creek nations are similar, in some ways.

Hensci Norma,
"The Creek Nation was a confederacy--an alliance of separate and independent tribes that gradually became, over a long period, a single political organization. Through most of its history, however, the Confederacy was a dynamic institution, constantly changing in size as tribes, for whatever reason, entered the alliance or left it. ... This fluctuating population base...has confounded the attempts of historians and anthropologists to generalize about the Creeks. One can be clear or correct, but rarely both."

Another name for the Creeks is Mvscogee. Mvscogee is also the name of the language of the largest group within the Creeks. Other groups spoke Alabama, Koasiti, Hitchiti, Natchez, Yuchi, and Shawnee. Often when people refer to speaking Creek or to the Creek language, they mean Mvscogee, but it's not always clear which language they are referring to.

The original Seminoles came to Florida because it was controlled by the Spanish, who had no interest in returning slaves to the British. They were mostly Lower Creeks who spoke the Mikasuki language, but other Indians, including Yuchis, Yamasees and Choctaws also joined the tribe in their trek to northern Florida from Georgia during the early 1700s. Soon to follow were the Oconees, Hitchitis,

By this time, many of the tribes in Florida, including the Tequestas, Calusas, Apalachees, Timucans and others, had been decimated by the Spanish presence, either in battles or by diseases such as smallpox. The few indigenous Florida tribes that remained were quickly absorbed into the Seminole Nation.

In 1767, Upper Creeks from Alabama, who spoke the Muskogee language, settled in the Tampa area. Shortly after this, in 1771, the first recorded usage of the name "Seminole" to denote an actual tribe was recorded. In 1778, the Seminoles were joined by more Lower Creeks and a few Apalachees.

African American slaves escaping from their southern plantation masters found refugee and allies in the Seminole Nation. In the spirit of the Mvscogee tradition African Americans were readily absorbed and adopted into the tribe.

Excellent books on the relationships between Seminoles and Black Seminoles are:
J. Leitch Wright Jr. "Creeks and Seminoles"
Daniel F Littlefield. Jr. Africans and Seminoles.


18 Dec 2002 :: 14 Nov 2008
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