Seminole refugee

Seminole Origin & Migration

  • Sep 20, 1513

    Seminole Ancestors

    Seminole Ancestors
    The Calusa, Apalachee, and Timucua tribes were already living in Florida when the Spaniards arrived, and later merged into the Seminole tribe.
    (engraving, native cutting trees)
  • Seminole origins

    Conflicts with Europeans and other tribes caused them to seek new lands to live in peace. The group consisted of many different tribes of Native Americans including Creeks, Yuchis, Yamasees Choctaws, Chickasaws, and Cherokees
  • Period: to

    English destroy Spanish Florida missions

    The Spansh killed and enslave thousands of Natives
  • Seminole fate

    Settlers started heading southward into Florida and when they arrived, many Seminole Indians were kidnapped, tortured, or killed.
  • Seminoles get their name

    The first recorded usage of the name "Seminole" to denote an actual tribe was recorded. It consisted of what was left of each tribe after all the violence and disease. Seminole is a name meaning "wild people" or "runaway"
  • Migration

    The Seminoles were joined by more Lower Creeks and a few Apalachees.
  • Period: to

    Red Stick War

    Also known as the Creek War; this was a civil war among the Creeks. It took place in Alabama and along the Gulf Coast. The US and European Empire joined sides. Thousands of Creek refugees migrated to Florida. The US gained millions of acres of land from the Creeks as a result of the Fort Jackson Treaty.
  • Period: to

    First Seminole War

    Spanish Florida is invaded by American soldiers. Seminole towns are burned and escaped slaves are captured.
  • Florida is Sold to U.S.

    Florida is Sold to U.S.
    The United States buys Florida from Spain for $5 million as a result of the Adams-Onis Treaty
  • Treaty of Camp Moultrie

    Treaty of Camp Moultrie
    Indians are forced to migrate to a reservation in Central Florida. This was the first treaty negotiated between the U.S. and the Seminole Indians
  • Indian Removal Act

    Indian Removal Act
    Congress passes a law forcing Native Americans to migrate to a designated land East of the Mississippi River referred to as Indian Territory and is located in modern day Oklahoma. This migration became known as the Trail of Tears.
  • Treaty of Paynes Landing

    Treaty of Paynes Landing
    This treaty was negotiated by Seminole leaders; it allowed Seminole leaders to get a glimpse of the Indian Territory (current day Oklahoma) prior to agreeing to leave Florida. This was a direct result of the Indian Removal Act
  • Treaty of Fort Gibson

    Treaty of Fort Gibson
    Seminole Indians coerced into agreeing to leave Florida to Migrate to Indian Territory by 1835.
  • Seminole Migration South

    Seminole Migration South
    Many Seminoles resisted the Treaty of Fort Gibson. Rather than migrate to Indian Territory they headed South in Florida
  • Period: to

    Second Seminole War

    Refusing to be forced out of Florida, the Seminoles fought back against U.S. Soldiers. This was the longest of the Seminole Wars. The bloodshed finally halted when Col. Worth called for peace with the Indians if they agreed to stay in South Florida.
  • Dade Masacre

    Dade Masacre
    Seminole Indians had shadowed U.S. soldiers for 5 days before ambushing them. The soldiers were on orders to battle the Seminoles and force them out of Florida.
  • Period: to

    Third Seminole War

    U.S. Army surveying parties conflict with Seminoles near Ft Myers, starting what is now known as the Third Seminole War. By the end of the war in 1858, it’s believed that fewer than 200 Seminoles remain in Florida, most living in seclusion throughout the everglades (just like Keith Tiger’s group in A Land Remembered).
  • Peaceful Trades Begin

    Peaceful Trades Begin
    1880s: Peaceful trades begin, with Seminoles bartering pelts, plumes, and hides in places like Fort Myers, Fort Lauderdale, Stuart, Miami and Tampa. Seminoles trade for items they cannot craft themselves, like ammunition and metal goods.
    pictured: coontie strainer (1880)
  • Tourism

    1917-1928 The Seminoles’ association with tourism begins as the Tamiami Trail opens (first road through Everglades, expanding from Tampa to Miami). The tribe sells their crafts and patchwork to visiting tourists.
    pictured: along the Tamiami Trail in the everglades (19--)
  • Reservations Established

    Reservations Established
    1936: The federal government establishes two large rural reservations, Big Cypress south of Lake Okeechobee, and Brighton. Federal health, education, housing, and economic programs follow soon after, including cattle programs.
    pictured: Seminole family having a meal (19--)
  • Recognition from Federal Government

    Recognition from Federal Government
    1957: The Seminole Tribe of Florida receives recognition from the federal government. The Seminole Tribe creates their own constitution and forms a tribal government focused on their reservations.
    pictured: Mother and baby standing near chickee hut at Dania Seminole Indian Reservation (1958)
  • Period: to

    Seminoles begin gaming on reservation

    The Seminoles begin operating high-stakes bingo games on reservation lands. Broward County law enforcement protests the Seminoles’ right to hold the bingo games, resulting in a court case that ultimately paves the way for Native American gaming rights across the United States.
  • Indian Self-Determination and Education Assistance Act

    1974: The U.S. Congress passes the Indian Self-Determination and Education Assistance Act, allowing the Seminoles to have more control over economic and political affairs that occur on their land.
  • Indian Gaming Regulatory Act

    1988: The Indian Gaming Regulatory Act declares that the federal government, and not the states, has the right to regulate Indian gaming. The Seminole Tribes play a major role in advocating for Native American sovereignty.
  • Claims Collection for Seminole Wars

    1992 - Seminoles in Florida and Oklahoma collect land claims against the U.S. for barbarous acts during the Seminole Wars. The Seminole Tribe of Florida nets almost $10 million, while independent Seminoles refuse to settle and their funds are held in a trust.
  • First Charter School Opens

    2007 – The Seminole Tribe’s first charter school opens on the Brighton Reservation. The Tribe celebrates the 50th anniversary of the signing of its constitution.
  • Seminoles Today

    Seminoles Today
    Today – The Seminole Tribe of Florida remains to be an influential participant in Florida’s political, cultural, and business worlds.