Seminole leader advocated independent nation in 1800s

Wewoka was the location for a series of secret conferences within the Seminole Nation during the summer of 1846. The attendees did not dare let their hosts, the Creeks, learn of what they were discussing, fearing the wrath of the larger tribe.

Before them stood the tall, athletic Coacoochee, spending hours trying to convince an entire nation to do was very radical in the extreme: All of them, the entire Seminole Nation, should gather their belongings and bolt across Texas to the Rio Grande to the south. There they would set up an independent American Indian nation between the United States and Mexico.

For Coacoochee and other Seminole nationalists, it seemed the only solution to not only preserving their culture, but the freedom of their black tribal members. Unlike other American Indian tribes, the Seminoles took in blacks, most of whom were runaway slaves, as full-fledged members of the tribe and treated and respected them as equals.

The problem now confronting the Seminole Nation was both their hosts, the Creeks, and whites living in neighboring Arkansas and Texas, wanted the black Seminoles seized by U.S. troops and given to them as slaves. The only reasons given were that they were black, and the Creeks, Arkansans and Texans were in the vicinity.

For the Seminoles, this was unacceptable. There were 500 black Seminoles within their tribe. "Mike Coppock

  • or