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Borderland NarrativesNegotiation and Accommodation in North America's Contested Spaces, 1500-1850$
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Andrew K. Frank and A. Glenn Crothers

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780813054957

Published to Florida Scholarship Online: May 2018

DOI: 10.5744/florida/9780813054957.001.0001

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Red, Black, and Seminole

Red, Black, and Seminole

Community Convergence on the Florida Borderlands, 1780–1840

(p.46) 2 Red, Black, and Seminole
Borderland Narratives
Andrew K. Frank
University Press of Florida

This chapter explores the relationship between African Americans and Seminole Indians in the context of the slow ethnogenesis of the Seminoles on the Florida borderlands. In this context, a fluid and historically contingent understanding of the relationship emerges, one where Seminoles and Africans followed converging and coalescing paths. Rather than treating Africans as occupying fixed categories—slaves, free, runaways, intermarried, descendents, or Seminoles—this interpretation recognizes both the temporal component to all these terms and the diversity of experiences within both the Seminole and African communities. Runaways married and had children; independent communities formed social, economic, and political alliances; and emancipation freed many Seminoles. Trade, marriage, sustained communication, and political needs gradually connected the autonomous villages of the Florida interior, while other Africans remained relatively unconnected to their Seminole neighbors.

Keywords:   Borderlands, Florida, African Americans, Seminole Indians, Slavery

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