It was not until the 1920s that Seminole Indian children in Florida began to attend federal and public schools on a regular basis. The Seminoles were among the last tribes to accept the benefits of public school education. Much of the basis for this long resistance is found in the cultural and geographic isolation of the Seminoles. Following a series of devastating confrontations with the government between 1817 and 1858, collectively known as the Seminole Wars, most of the Seminoles who had not been killed were sent to the Indian Territory in Oklahoma. Those few Indians who remained in Florida withdrew to the wild interior swamplands of the southern part of the peninsula. They rarely ventured from their isolated camps in the deep Everglades except to trade at such frontier villages as Fort Myers, Miami, and Fort Lauderdale. They had little use for the settlers who had usurped their lands, and they kept contacts to a minimum. A few males learned enough English to facilitate their commerce in hides, pelts, and plumes, but beyond that there was no desire to become acquainted with white man’s ways. Nor were there many positive overtures on the part of the white settlers to acculturate the Seminoles. Throughout the last quarter of the nineteenth century there were isolated instances of informal efforts by missionaries and concerned citizens to teach the basic elements of learning to Seminoles, but there were few federal or state efforts in this direction.
Kersey, Jr., Harry A.
"Educating the Seminole Indians of Florida, 1879-1970,"
Florida Historical Quarterly: Vol. 49:
1, Article 5.
Available at: https://stars.library.ucf.edu/fhq/vol49/iss1/5