“Before the Pioneers: Connecting Ancient and Contemporary south Florida”

Presented By Andrew Frank

Using the 4000-year human history at the North Bank of the Miami River, this talk explores how and why ancient and early modern peoples profoundly shaped the development of modern Florida The talk provides an overview of the distinctive eras that have occurred prior to the arrival of Miami’s city founders.  This history includes the stories of Tequesta and Seminole Indians, Spanish missionaries, African slaves and white slaveholders, Bahamian wreckers, outlaws, runaways, American soldiers, and others. The talk draws attention to the ways that these earlier inhabitants shaped the North Bank through the planting of trees, cultivation of crops, construction of buildings, and creation of maps. In exploring this often ignored past, Before the Pioneers explains how Henry Flagler, Julia Tuttle, and the other so-called “pioneers” of the late nineteenth century chose the site for modern Miami in part as a result of the legacies of the earlier settlers.

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