Kevin Kokomoor


Recently, the focus on slavery within native societies has benfited from a great deal of scholarly attention, and several influential volumes have examined slavery as it existed within a number of southern tribes, including Cherokees, Chickasaws and Choctaws, Creeks, and particularly Seminoles.1 In other studies, historians have focused on the phenomenon of "marronage," experiences that "can be seen to hold a special significance for the study of slave societies."2 Eugene Genovese, for instance, suggested that some Indian communities were "utterly transformed by the entrance of large numbers of blacks," a phenomenon that although not widespread, resonated deeply in the Florida territory.3 Experts in the colonial Spanish era have remarked with interest not only on the ways in which the Spanish treated Africans, but also the ways Africans and Seminoles came together in common defense when protecting what was essentially a Spanish buffer zone in north Florida. Historians of slavery have contended that Florida's harsh experiences with the institution came in response to the threat posed by their combined presence. And lastly, those focusing on Seminole history have contended that the First and Second Seminole Wars-the second a remarkably costly affair-were actually a direct result.4