In Florida there are four reservations for Indians— three established by the federal government and one by the state of Florida. The state reservation was established through the efforts of white friends of the Seminoles, a representative from a national organization, several politicians, the federal Indian agent in Florida, and a friendly governor. Ever since the end of the Third Seminole War in 1858, some whites tried to assist the few Indians remaining in the state. Under the terms of the Florida Constitution written in 1868, the Seminoles were entitled to elect one person to the state house of representatives and one to the state senate, but since no one informed the Indians about this right, they held no elections and the provsion was dropped in the Constitution of 1885. On June 8, 1891, under pressure from a few whites, the Florida legislature authorized the trustees of the Board of Internal Improvements to set aside a tract of land no greater than 5,000 acres for the Indians. A commission composed of three men was appointed to select the land, but since the Indians were scattered over a vast expanse of southern Florida, the commission felt that any attempt to force them on to a reservation would be foolish, if not impossible. Therefore the commission voted to acquire land on which the Indians had already settled. However no reservation was selected since there were no funds available to locate and survey such lands.
Covington, James M.
"Formation of the State of Florida Indian Reservation,"
Florida Historical Quarterly: Vol. 64:
1, Article 6.
Available at: https://stars.library.ucf.edu/fhq/vol64/iss1/6