When I read about the Seminoles, I felt “dissed,” cheated out of an education. I wanted to sue my grade school district for all the false and misinformation it forced me to test on. Frankly, I wanted to slap somebody for the waste of time. Had they told me my historical studies were all fantasy, like episodes from Walt Disney, maybe I could have accepted it.
Drawing of Seminoles
Europeans were not brave. They were not great warriors or lovers of freedom. They used treachery and deceit, and man’s willingness to trust and believe all men have true hearts, to win their confidence and to convince them that all they wanted was to live in peace. They were able to convince warring factions that it was in their best interests to sign a treaty and to align with them, and then they did what they did so well, break the treaties.
The story of the Seminoles is American history. Their story is our story. It ties United States American history, Black slave history, United States English History, Spanish – American History, Native American History, Black-Native American History, and Mexican History into one piece, and it makes sense of it all. All the lies suddenly make sense. You wonder why all the oppressed people did not rise up and fight?
You wonder why they did not escape to the islands or to Mexico where they were better suited for the climate and where they were less likely to be returned to bondage. Well they did, and they put on a grand spectacle. You understand why people believed the lies that the slave owners told them.
As early as 1689, African slaves fled from South Carolina to Spanish Florida seeking freedom. These were people who gradually formed what has become known as the Gullah culture of the coastal Southeast. Under an edict fro King Charles II of Spain in 1693, the black fugitives received liberty in exchange for defending the Spanish settlers at St. Augustine. The Spanish organized the black volunteers into a militia; their settlement at Fort Mose, founded in 1738, was the first legally sanctioned free Black town in North America.
Not all the slaves escaping south found military service in St. Augustine to their liking. More escaped slaves sought refuge in wilderness areas in Northern Florida, where their knowledge of tropical agriculture—and resistance to tropical diseases—served them well.
Most of the blacks who pioneered Florida were Gullah people who escaped from the rice plantations of South Carolina (and later Georgia). As Gullah, they had developed an Afro-English based Creole, along with cultural practices and African leadership structure. The Gullah pioneers built their own settlements based on rice and corn agriculture. They became allies of the Creek and other Indians escaping into Florida from the Southeast at the same time.
In Florida, they developed the Afro-Seminole Creole, which they spoke with the growing Seminole tribe.
Following the British defeat of the French in the Seven Years War, in 1763 the British took over rule in Florida, in an exchange of territory with the Spanish for former French lands west of the Mississippi. The area was still considered a sanctuary for fugitive American slaves, as it was lightly settled. Many slaves sought refuge near growing American Indian settlements.
In 1773, when the American naturalist William Bartram visited the area, the Seminole had their own tribal name, derived from cimarron, the Spanish word for runaway. Do you remember the Cadillac Cimarron?
Cimarron was also the source of the English word maroon, used to describe the runaway slave communities of Florida, the Great Dismal Swamp who had developed on the border of Virginia and North Carolina, and maroons on colonial islands of the Caribbean, and other parts of what they called the New World.
Florida had been a refuge for fugitive slaves for at least 70 years by the time of the American Revolution. Communities of Black Seminoles were established on the outskirts of major Seminole towns. A new influx of freedom-seeking blacks reached Florida during the American Revolution (1775–83), escaping during the disruption of war.
During the Revolution, the Seminole allied with the British, and African Americans and Seminole came into increased contact with each other. The Seminole held some slaves, as did the Creek and other Southeast Indian tribes. During the War of 1812, members of both communities sided with the British against the US in the hopes of defeating American settlers; they strengthened their internal ties and earned the enmity of the war’s American General Andrew Jackson.
Spain had given land to some Muscogee (Creek) Native Americans. Over time the Creek were joined by other remnant groups of runaway slaves and Southeast American Indians, such as the Miccosukee and the Apalachicola, and formed communities. Their community evolved over the late 18th and early 19th centuries as waves of Creek left present-day Georgia and Alabama under pressure from white settlement and the Creek Wars. By a process of ethnogenesis, the Indians and the runaway African slaves formed the Seminole Nation.
Abraham, a Black Seminole leader, from N. Orr’s engraving in The Origin, Progress, and Conclusion of the Florida War (1848) by John T. Sprague.
The Black Seminole culture that took shape after 1800 was a dynamic mixture of African, Native American, Spanish, and slave traditions. Adopting certain practices of the Native Americans, maroons wore Seminole clothing; strained koonti, a native root; and made sofkee, a paste created by mashing corn with a mortar and pestle. They also introduced their Gullah staple of rice to the Seminole, and continued to use it as a basic part of their diets. Rice remained part of the diet of the Black Seminoles who moved to Oklahoma.
Some, initially living apart from the Native Americans, the maroons developed their own unique African-American culture, based in the Gullah culture of the Low Country. Black Seminoles inclined toward a syncretic form of Christianity developed during the plantation years. Certain cultural practices, such as “jumping the broom”” to celebrate marriage, hailed from the plantations; other customs, such as some names used for black towns, reflected African heritage.
As time progressed, the Seminole and Blacks had limited intermarriage; but historians and anthropologists have come to believe that generally the Black Seminoles had independent communities. Like most tribal societies, they allied with the other Seminole at times of war. The Seminole society was based on matrilineal kinship systems, in which inheritance and descent went through the maternal line. Children belonged to the mother’s clan. While the children might integrate customs from both cultures, the Seminole believed them to belong to the mother’s group more than the father’s.
The African Americans had more of a patriarchal system. But, under the South’s adoption of the principle of partus sequitur ventrem, incorporated into slavery law in the states, children of slave mothers were considered born into slavery. Even if the mother had escaped, her children were legally considered slaves and fugitives, like her. As a result, the Black Seminole were always at risk from slave raiders.
By the early 19th century, maroons (free blacks and runaway slaves) and the Seminole were in regular contact in Florida, where they evolved a system of relations unique among Native Americans and blacks. In exchange for paying an annual tribute of livestock and crops, black prisoners or slaves found sanctuary among the Seminole. Seminoles, in turn, acquired an important strategic ally in a sparsely populated region. In the 19th century, the Whites called the Black Seminoles were called “Seminole Negroes.” The Native Americans respectfully called them Estelusti (Black People). These were the original “Buffalo Soldiers.”
Typically, many or most members of the Black Seminole communities were not identified as slaves of individual Native American chiefs. Black Seminoles lived in their own independent communities, elected their own leaders, and could amass wealth in cattle and crops. Most importantly, they bore arms for self-defense. Florida real estate records show that the Seminole and Black Seminole people owned large quantities of Florida land. In some cases, a portion of that Florida land is still owned by the Seminole and Black Seminole descendants in Florida.
Under the comparatively free conditions, the Black Seminoles flourished. United States Army Lieutenant George McCall recorded his impressions of a Black Seminole community in 1826:
We found these negroes in possession of large fields of the finest land, producing large crops of corn, beans, melons, pumpkins, and other esculent vegetables. … I saw, while riding along the borders of the ponds, fine rice growing; and in the village large corn-cribs were filled, while the houses were larger and more comfortable than those of the Indians themselves.
Historians estimate that during the 1820s, 800 blacks were living with the Seminoles. These black Seminoles who settled in the swampy terrain of Florida established cultivation methods that were identical to that of the methods of the Africans in Sierre Leone.
The Black Seminole settlements were highly militarized, unlike the communities of most of the slaves in the Deep South. The military nature of the African-Seminole relationship led General Edmund Pendleton Gaines, who visited several flourishing Black Seminole settlements in the 1800s, to describe the African Americans as more like “vassals and allies” than slaves of the Native Americans.
In terms of spirituality, the ethnic groups remained distinct. The Native Americans followed the nativistic principles of their Great Spirit. Blacks had a syncretic form of Christianity brought with them from the plantations.
The Indians used the blacks as translators to advance their trading with the British and other tribes. Together in Florida they developed Afro-Semin ole Creole, identified in 1978 as a distinct language by the linguist Ian Hancock. Black Seminoles and Freedmen continued to speak Afro-Seminole Creole through the 19th century in Oklahoma. Hancock found that in 1978, some Black Seminole and Seminole elders still spoke it in Oklahoma and in Florida.
Under pressure, the Native American and Blacks moved into south and central Florida. Slaves and Black Seminoles frequently migrated down the peninsula to escape from Cape Florida to the Bahamas. Hundreds left in the early 1820s after the United States acquired the territory from Spain, effective 1821. Contemporary accounts noted a group of 120 migrating in 1821, and a much larger group of 300 African-American slaves escaping in 1823, picked up by Bahamians in 27 sloops and also by canoes. They developed a village known as Red Bays on Andros, where basketmaking and certain grave traditions associated with the Black Seminole tradition are still practiced. Federal construction and staffing of the Cape Florida Lighthouse in 1825 reduced the number of slave escapes from this site.
On December 28, 1835, Seminole warriors attacked a column of 107 U.S. soldiers led by Major Francis Dade, sparking a battle that would bring the United States fully into the costliest Indian war in its history.
Dade Battlefield Historic State Park in Bushnell, Florida (an easy drive from both Tampa and Orlando) preserves the site of one of the most important battles in American history. Major Dade and 103 of his men died here in an event that was the “Little Bighorn” of its day.
Tensions were extremely high in Florida when Major Dade and 108 men marched out from Fort Brooke (today’s Tampa) in late December of 1835. The U.S. Government was attempting to force the Seminoles to voluntarily relocate to new lands west of the Mississippi. Hundreds of Seminole chiefs and warriors were opposed to the move.
Although several small encounters had taken place, open warfare had not yet erupted.
Dade and his men were marching, with a single piece of artillery, to reinforce the garrison at Fort King, a frontier stockade on the present site of Ocala. The soldiers were wary of possible attack, but by the 28th December had emerged from the thick swamps along their route and were marching through fairly open pine lands.
According to one survivor, Private Ransom Clarke, the major had just promised the men a three day Christmas rest when they reached Fort King when suddenly a shot rang out.
Unknown to Dade and his men, they had been watched for days since they had left Tampa Bay and were now walking into an ambush laid by around 200 Seminole warriors. The Native American leaders Micanopy, Jumper and Alligator were all on the field.
This was the very first major guerrilla war ever fought against the United States government. Following the signal shot, the Seminoles opened fire from the cover of palmetto and high grass and Major Dade, his horse, and roughly half the column went down in the first volley. One survivor told Major F.S. Belton that the Seminoles fired at least fifteen rounds before the soldiers ever actually saw a warrior.
Painting Of Major Dade
The Seminoles swarmed forward, but were driven back by the fire of Dade’s cannon. The artillery blasts caused a pause in the battle long enough for the soldiers to regroup.
Taking advantage of the brief lull they threw up a triangular breastwork of logs. It was only about three logs high, however, when the Seminoles attacked again.
Archaeologists later found piles of flattened rifle balls at the site of the log breastworks. When the smoke finally cleared, virtually the entire army force had been wiped out. Dade, his officers and at least 103 men were dead.
Four soldiers, all badly wounded, survived the attack. Among these were Privates John Thomas and Ransom Clarke of Company C, 2nd U.S. Artillery. Despite their wounds, Thomas and Clarke carried the news of the attack back to Fort Brooke. A third survivor, Joseph Sprague, also reached the fort before dying, but a fourth was killed before he could make it to Tampa Bay. Dade’s interpreter Louis Pacheco, was either captured or voluntarily went over to the Seminoles.
Although there had been several small skirmishes or incidents before the 28th, it was the destruction of Dade’s command that sparked the Second Seminole War.
Dade County is named after Major Dade. Dade Battlefield Historic State Park includes the preserved battlefield area, reconstructed log breastworks.
For more information on the Seminoles go research Chief Osceola and go to “Johnhorse.com.”
Who was Chief Osceola? Osceola, also known as Billy Powell (1804 – January 30, 1838), became an influential leader of the Seminole. Of mixed parentage, some historians say he was mixed with Creek, Scots-Irish, and English. Some say he was also mixed with Black.
Drawing of Chief Osceola Photograph of Descendant of Chief Osceola
Drawing of John Horse
Who was John Horse? John Horse (ca. 1812–1882), also known as Juan Caballo, Juan Cavallo, John Cowaya (with spelling variations) and Gopher John, (Black Seminole) was an African-American military advisor to the chief Osceola and a leader of Black Seminole units fighting against United States (US) troops during the Seminole Wars in Florida.
Let us ignore for one minute that the Human race is one, with mutations. Of Seminole-African-Spanish descent, John Horse moved to Indian Territory (now Oklahoma) during Indian Removal in 1842 and was personally freed in 1843.
Georgia slave holders invaded Florida looking for runaway slaves and were soon met with opposition with Seminoles. When the Black Seminoles faced continuing threats from slave raiders, he led a group to northern Mexico, where they achieved freedom in 1850. Horse served as a captain in the Mexican Army and, after 1870, with the US Army as a scout.
John Horse, called Juan Caballo as a child, was born around 1812 in Florida. He was a Seminole slave of Spanish, Seminole, and African American descent. However, to say he was a Black Seminole or of Seminole descent is a misnomer because the original Seminoles were not entirely Native Americans at all. They were mostly runaway African slaves. In fact, the word Seminole is derived from the Spanish phrase, “to run away.” They later mixed in with the Natives of the area and some of the next generation of runaway slaves were purchased by the Seminoles and treated like freedmen to prevent their re-capture and reintroduction into European slavery.
By declaring all runaway slaves to be free if they reached Florida, and agreed to fight for Spain, the Spanish saw this as an opportunity to protect itself from English incursions into Florida, a place where it did not maintain a huge military presence.
For obvious reasons, the English, and later the United States slave owners, saw this as a threat to their slave society. If slaves could find freedom by crossing into Florida White slave owners would fear a perpetual loss of revenue, and pursuit of happiness (subjugation of Blacks).
Moved from Florida because it was not economical to have a homebase right in the deep south where they could not control the courts, and slave freedom.
Interestingly enough, The British were not originally as harsh slavers as the United States “Founding Fathers,” and they even offered freedom to slaves who dared fight with them to put down the American Revolution.
Ironically, Anthony Johnson (c1600 — 1670) was an Angolan indentured servant who achieved freedom and became a property owner and slaveholder in the Colony of Virginia in the early 17th century.
Drawing of Anthony Johnson
Held as an indentured servant in 1621, he earned his freedom after several years, which was accompanied by a grant of land. He later became a successful tobacco farmer. Notably, he is recognized for attaining great wealth after having been an indentured servant and for being one of the first legally recognized black slave owners in the English colonies.
In one of the earliest freedom lawsuits in the new world, John Casor argued that he was an indentured servant who had been forced by Anthony Johnson to serve past his term. He was freed and went to work for Robert Parker as an indentured servant. Anthony Johnson sued Parker for Casor’s services. In ordering Casor returned to his master, a free black, for life, the court both declared John Casor a slave and sustained the right of free Blacks to own slaves, and unfortunately this Black man solidified, through his greed, the purported legal justification and the right of Whites to claim all Africans in slavery to be slaves for life.
Before John Horse became a chief, he lived in Micanopy, former Spanish Florida. John Horse, like many slaves, assumed the surname of his owner, Charles Cavallo (who may also have been his father). “Horse” is the meaning of Cavallo. His mother may have been of mixed African-Indian parentage, and was possibly owned by Charles Cavallo, who was possibly of Indian-Spanish parentage. They also had a daughter, Juana (spelled “Wannah” or “Warner” in some sources). Not much is known about Charles Cavallo. He did not appear to treat his two mixed-race children as slaves. In fact, few were as harsh on slaves as those who claimed to be freedom loving United States citizens.
The year we are told John Horse was born, the War Of 1812 broke out between the United States and the Great Britain. Horse was probably living with his mother in one of the black towns under the jurisdiction of the Alachua band of Oconee along the Suwane River. When General Andrew Jackson invaded the area, he scattered the tribal peoples and their black allies.
In 1739 slave fugitives in St. Augustine built a fort to protect themselves and the British. Black Seminoles led the coalition against slavery in the North. Black Seminoles even planted “spies” posing as African slaves being sold by Creeks to the British just to gather information. Eventually the red Seminoles began to join the resistance. This is when the whites living in what is now the United States became worried. They never anticipated the well working relationship between the reds and blacks.
The Seminole Wars
The First Seminole War (1817–1818) occurred during Horse’s childhood.
Slave owners soon realized that the Seminole Nation could put an end to slavery. This caused the first Seminole War. Seminoles struck U.S. slave plantations. When the St. Augustine blacks joined in, the Seminole raids were destructive and the Seminoles could not be stopped. General Andrew Jackson of the U.S. Military vowed to wipe out the Seminoles. The Seminoles took control of a British fortress and re-named it “Fort Negro” which was manned by black Seminole officers. The Seminole army consisted of 300 Seminole men in which only 34 were red Indians.
African slaves began to join the army the Seminoles seemed indestructible. With General Andrew Jackson’s rank on the line, he gathered U.S. troops, Marines and sought the assistance of 500 Creek Indians. Jackson’s orders were to kill the Seminoles, blow up the fort and restore the Africans to their rightful owners. A war erupted after the Seminoles refused surrender and a cannon ball was fired into the Fort Negro’s ammunition barracks which blew up the fort. In the ruins, 270 Seminoles were dead, 64 were fatally wounded and the leader of the Seminole resistance, Garcia was captured alive and then executed.
General Jackson kept this incident a secret from the public for 20 years because Jackson never had an official declaration of war signed, therefore it was considered murder, not war. However, this massacre was only the beginning of the Seminole resistance and was only the first of three Seminole wars that would carry on for years.
The remaining black Seminoles relocated to the Tampa Bay area where they nursed their wounds and prepared for the next battle. The Seminoles this time joined forced with Chief Billy Bowlegs. Without the U.S. Congress knowledge, Andrew Jackson went on a rampage throughout Florida burning black Seminole villages of Fowltown. When James Monroe took the U.S. Presidency in 1817, Jackson proposed a secret plan to take Florida from the Seminoles who at the time owned certain territories of Florida.
Jackson soon captured Pensacola and without a declaration of war, Florida passed into U.S. hands. Another state owned by blacks that the U.S. captured. Since Florida was, according to European rules, officially Spanish territory, the U.S. paid Spain $5 million for Florida, making Jackson’s illegal seizure appear as a real estate purchase.
The U.S. then tried to separate the black and red Seminoles by trying to convince the Seminole leader King Hatchy to turn over anyone who had black skin. King Hatchy replied that he would use force if any government tried to pass through the Seminole territory and he would not hand over any black Seminoles.
To disrupt racial alliance between blacks and reds, the U.S. promoted slavery among the Seminoles and tried to convince them that the other “Indian” nations were also interested in slavery. The Seminoles rejected.
The U.S. then sent in wealthy Creek Indians who owned slaves to persuade their tribal cousin the red Seminoles to become slave holders. Whites and Creek Indians were encouraged to raid black Seminole villages for slaves. Free Seminole men, women, and children were carried off and sold in southern slave markets as “Negros.”
Many black Seminoles relocated further into the swamps and became known as “Maroon.”
Other black Seminoles agreed to be taken into slavery as long as they were able to own their own cattle, horses, hogs, and were treated like family rather than like their African cousins.
These black Seminoles had equal liberty with whites. These Seminoles were not considered slaves but they were considered Seminoles who maintained their African names, dressed in fine Seminole clothing, and turbans, as did Moors in Africa.
The remaining Seminoles migrated to Mexico for 20 years and others migrated to Texas and mixed in with the black tribes of the Washitaw.
During the Second Seminole War of 1835 to 1842, John Horse served as a sub-chief of the Seminoles and negotiated with the United States Army. In 1831, during the Second Seminole War, a force of Seminole Indians defeated U.S. troops in the Battle of Okeechobee in Florida.
Chief John Horse shared command with Alligator Sam Jones and Wild Cat. The United States Congress conceded that they could probably handily defeat the Native Americans, but for they skill and bravery of the African slaves fighting amongst them. Blacks had a reputation as “fearless” fighters in the numerous battles with U.S. troops. Unfortunately, Blacks also served with the American troops as scouts, interpreters, and even spies. It should also be noted that many of the diseases Whites brought with them that annihilated the Native Americans did not impact the Africans as they had been exposed to those diseases for hundreds of years.
In the spring of 1838, Horse surrendered to US troops. This may have been after the death of his first wife, a Seminole woman said to have been a daughter of Chief Holatoochee, a brother or nephew of the chief Micanopy.
Horse was given his freedom by General Worth for his service to the U.S. in the latter days of the Second Seminole War in Florida. Horse had taken advantage of General Thomas Sydney Jesup’s promise of freedom to escaped slaves who would surrender and accept removal to Indian Territory west of the Mississippi. Horse’s wife and children, who also were removed to Indian Territory, did not gain freedom by his service, so they were at risk from slave traders. With other Seminole, Horse was shipped from Tampa Bay to New Orleans and then to Indian Territory. There he settled with the Seminole and Black Seminole who had accepted removal. In the Indian Territory, Horse rose as a leader of the Black Seminole.
Horse accepted a job as an interpreter for the US Army. They asked him to help persuade remaining insurrectionists in Florida to surrender and relocate to Indian Territory. Horse returned to Florida in 1839 to recruit people for removal. He returned to Indian Territory in 1842 along with some 120 Seminole who had been captured and deported.
In Indian Territory, the exiled Seminole leadership voted freedom for John Horse around 1843 for his services to them during the war. At the time, Chief Micanopy (Mico Nuppa) had nominal ownership over Horse. He officially granted the warrior his freedom.
Conflict arose as the Seminoles had been placed on the Creek people reservation, from whom the Seminole had earlier established their independence. Numerous Creek were slaveholders and they raided the Black Seminole settlements, to kidnap people for enslavement. They succeeded in capturing Dembo Factor, a veteran of the Seminole War. Coacoochee (Wild Cat), a Seminole traditionalist who opposed living with the Creek, and Horse protested against selling Factor as a slave. The Army recovered Factor and returned him to the Seminole, but neither they nor the Creek filed charges against the suspected slavers.
In 1844 Coacoochee and Horse traveled to Washingon, DC to seek a separate land grant for the Seminole. After failing to secure a treaty, they returned to Indian Territory. Horse traveled back to Washington to lobby General Jesup, for a separate reservation. Jesup granted the Fort Gibson area to the Seminole.
In 1849, during Horse’s time in Washington, then-Attorney-General Johnson Mason ruled that, as most of the Black Seminole were descendants of fugitive slaves and thus legally still considered born into slavery, he could not protect them against slave raiders. More than 280 Black Seminoles, including Horse’s family, were at risk of being captured for sale as slaves.
Returning to the territory, John Horse and Coacoochee led a group of Seminole and Black Seminole from Fort Gibson to Wewoka, further from the Creek.
The two waited until the Indian agent, Marcellus Duval, finished his tenure and returned to Washington. In 1849, the two led a migration of approximately twenty Black Seminole families (more than 100 people) across Texas and the Rio Grande intoCoahuila, Mexico, to gain freedom as that nation had abolished slavery decades earlier. Slavery was abolished as a result of the efforts of Mexico’s second President, Vicente Guerrero. A person of mixed African slave descent.
Vicente Guerrero, Second Mexican President
The U.S. government actively promoted slavery among relocated Native American tribes. Even tribes who had never practiced slavery before were encouraged to do so. It was in the same year that John Horse founded the city of Wewoka in Oklahoma. It served as a refuge for runaway slaves.
Horse and his band presented themselves to the Mexican commander at Piedra Negras on July 12, 1850.
Horse secured land for the migrants in Mexico. In 1870, he lived in Laguna de Parras in Coahuila. Many of the veterans served Mexico as border guards.
Seminole Scout For the United States
After the Civil War and United States emancipation of slaves, the US Army recruited Black Seminoles from Mexico to serve as scouts. They promised pay and resettlement in Indian Territory, although they never followed through with the latter. Horse returned to Texas with a number of Black Seminoles to work as scouts. These men and their families settled near Fort Clarke in what is now Bracketville. After a number of years, Horse returned to Mexico.
John Horse died en route to Mexico City in 1882, intending to try to gain more land rights for his people in northern Mexico. Several hundred descendants of Black Seminoles, known as Mascogos, still reside in Coahuila.
Read “Black Indians.”
Mixed Black Indians were also captured and sold into slavery along with their African cousins. The land of the Black Indians was taken.
Louisiana, Georgia, Alabama, Texas, Oklahoma, Mississippi, Illinois, Florida, Delaware, Tennessee, Kansas, Iowa, Indiana all belonged to the Washitaw.
The Washitaw Nation is a group of Black Americans that is still fighting for recognition as a sovereign Native American nation within the boundaries of the United States. They take their name from that of the Ouachita Nation. They are also eponymous of the Washita River and Washita, Oklahoma.
Originally, the French and the British invaded the Washintaw territory. The women were sold as sex slaves and the men were sold into slavery as “Negros.” The U.S. Government even persuaded the red Indian tribes to own slaves. The Cherokee, Choctaw, Creek, and Chickasaw tribes all agreed to slave holding of black Indians and Africans. The only tribe to resist the idea of slavery was the Seminole tribe. The Seminoles rejected the idea because they were the descendants of African explorers who settled in Florida and mixed with Muskogee refugees who had mixed in with the Spanish.
It is my intention to inspire reading. I have intentionally left out many of the references so that you will be inspired to conduct your own research and not simply believe whatever you read in any media.