“Making Chief Osceola: The Abolitionists and the Rise of an American Myth”

Presented By Andrew Frank

This talk explores how Osceola became a national phenomenon after his death in the nineteenth century.  It includes an overview of the war as well as a discussion of Osceola’s place in the Second Seminole War.  The talk then turns to a discussion of the debates that occurred in the United States over Indian wars,  Indian removal, and their connections to American slavery.   In this context, we learn about how Osceola has been remembered and misremembered since his capture and death.  Special attention is paid to the role of anti-war and abolitionist activists in promoting and fabricating a series of enduring myths about him.

Andrew K. Frank is a specialist in the history of the Seminoles and other Indians of Florida.  He is Allen Morris Associate Professor of History at Florida State University and an award-winning author and editor of many books and articles.  His books include Creeks and Southerners: Biculturalism on the Early American Frontier (2005) and The Seminole (The History and Culture of Native Americans) (2010).   He is currently finishing Those Who Camp at a Distance: The Seminoles and Indians of Florida—a synthesis of the history of the Seminoles from their origin until the present.

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Andrew Frank

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