Popular beliefs about the Seminole Indians relegate them to a short one or two centuries in Florida, but the reality is much more complex – and much more fascinating. In research that has never before been accomplished – or even attempted, the author has traced nearly four centuries of the lives and adventures of one Indian leader, whom the English dubbed the “Emperor Brim,” and his Panther Clan lineage, all the way to their present-day equity in Florida and the lower Southeast, as citizens of the Seminole Tribe of Florida. Dr.
About 1,000 years ago, agricultural communities were established in what would become the Southeastern and Midwestern United States, and what is called the Mississippian culture flourished.
Keith Ashley is an archaeologist and research coordinator at the University of North Florida in Jacksonville. Ashley’s research is demonstrating a link between Native Floridians and the thriving Mississippian culture.
William Bartram fought alligators, befriended Seminoles, and meticulously documented the flora and fauna of eighteenth century Florida.
His book “Travels through North and South Carolina, East and West Florida, the Cherokee Country, the Extensive Territories of the Muscogulges, or Creek Confederacy, and the Country of the Chactaws, Containing an Account of the Soil and Natural Productions of Those Regions, Together with Observations on the Manners of the Indians,” known today as “Bartram’s Travels,” is a classic work of Florida literature.
When Juan Ponce de León “discovered” Florida in 1513, native people had been living here for more than 10,000 years.
The native population had complex societies, elaborate systems of trade, and their own ancient religions. They had villages with large ceremonial centers surrounded by buildings built on shell mounds. Villages throughout this land had council houses built of wood and thatch that could hold more than 1,000 people.
At the time of European contact, there were a dozen tribes in “La Florida” with their own distinctive cultures.
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