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In 1866, the Seminoles were required to sign a new treaty. This treaty made certain

 provisions that included the sale of all the Seminole Nation to the United States

at the rate of 15 cents per acre; to free their slaves and give them tribal rights



African Towns  in Oklahoma



Arcadia---established in 1890 and incorporated in 1987

Boley -- located in the western part of Okfuskee County this historically black town was established in 1903. 

Langston -- named for the noted educator, abolitionist, and Congressman John Mercer Langston of Virginia, this city-town was founded in 1891, and is the home to Langston University 

Red Bird -- In the Creek Nation, this town lies only a few miles from Coweta Oklahoma. it was officially established in 1902 

Rentiesville -- In the heart of the Creek Nation and only a few miles south of Muskogee this town lies on the banks of Elk Creek. 

Taft  -- Originally known as Twine, I.T. this Creek Nation black town was established in 1903. Like neighboring Red Bird, it was a market for rural farmers mostly black. 

Tullahassee -- established as a mission for the Creeks in 1850. 

Vernon -- established in 1895, and still exists today.

Wewoka---established by African Seminole leader John Horse [See notes below], in the 1840s?

Source: A fuller exposition of the above towns and other information on Black Indians can be found at the following website The above listing is based on the research and writing of Angela Y. Walton-Raji in her list entitled  "African Towns Today."" 

 Notes: Some believe that it was John Jumper of Oklahoma rather than John Horse of Texas who founded the town of Wewoka.

Angela Y. Walton-Raji has written, however, that  "John Horse is INDEED the founder of the town of Wewoka, Oklahoma. John Horse known as Gopher John also Juan Caballo, was from Florida, relocated to Indian Territory and then to Mexico. After the war, he frequented Texas, as well as the original Seminole nation in Indian Territory and died in Mexico."

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John Horse & John Jumper

John Jefferson,
Grandson of John Horse
Institute of Texan Cultures,
John Horse, known as Gopher John or John Caballo (probably Juan Caballo) in Texas and Mexico, was the black Seminole chief, a freedman of African, Indian, and Spanish ancestry who also served as Wild Cat’s interpreter. One observer describes John Horse with his plumed turban and “unerring rifle” as a tall, erect, powerful form, with handsome features and “carefully combed long, crinkly hair wearing tasteful Indian garb” (Porter 1943:10-15).

His name, Gopher John, was the legacy of a trick he played on an army officer who fancied “gophers,” or Florida terrapins, as gourmet food (Porter 1943:10-15).

His grandson, John Jefferson, became a trumpeter in the Seminole Scouts when the black Seminoles moved to Texas.

With the 1856 treaty with Muscogee Creek government, the U.S. federal government established the first Seminole Nation in Oklahoma. For the Seminole refused to live under Creek governance. Recognized as an independent nation within a nation, the Seminole Nation occupied land between the South Canadian River and the North Canadian River bounded on the east by a line where the present city of Tecumseh, Oklahoma now exists and on the west by the western boundary of the United States in 1856, which was the 100th meridian.

Black Seminole Chief John Horse
Drawn by N. Orr
Institute of Texan Cultures, 72-5


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The Seminoles, under the leadership of Chief John Jumper, moved to their new nation and established a community known as the Green Head Prairie. A council house was located about two miles north and two miles west of the agency. After this settlement was made and the homes were well established, the War between the States erupted and the Seminoles as well as other members of the Five Civilized Tribes (Cherokee, Choctaw, Chickasaw, & Muskogee Creek), took up arms and fought one against the other.

Under the agreement made with the Federal government, the Seminoles were to be protected from outside invasion, but with the rumors of war, and before any battles were fought, the Government withdrew all of its forces, leaving the Indian Nations unprotected from invasion from the South.

About one-third of the Tribe, under the leadership of Big John Chupco, voted to remain loyal to the Union and they proceeded to move to Kansas. The first skirmishes of the war took place when these Seminoles, along with other tribal members, who favored the North, fought three engagements to reach help in Kansas.

The remainder of the Seminoles under John Jumper, joined forces with the Confederacy and with civilians living in camps south of the Red River in Texas. The soldiers, with Colonel Jumper as their leader, fought under the command of General Stan Watie. The war devastated Indian Territory and when it came to an end the Five Civilized Tribes were forced to give up their claim to all their land in the western half of what is now Oklahoma.

In 1866, the Seminoles were required to sign a new treaty. This treaty made certain provisions that included the sale of all the Seminole Nation to the United States at the rate of 15 cents per acre; to free their slaves and give them tribal rights; to give rights of way to the railroads; to make peace among themselves and with other tribes; to help organize a state made up of the Indians in Oklahoma; and the Seminoles were allowed to buy land sold by the Muscogee Creeks for a price of 50 cents per acre. This new land was the Second Seminole Nation and existed from 1866 to 1907. This consisted of present day Seminole County with the addition of 175,000 acres that the Seminoles later bought from the Muscogee Creeks.

With the signing of the Treaty in 1866, the Government commissioned Elijah Brown to bring the Northern Seminoles back to their new nation and set up a new capital city. He chose as the site for the new capital, the present city of Wewoka. 17 years earlier, a Freedman leader, Gopher John [See note above], had made a temporary settlement on the north bank of the Wewoka Creek. They had given the name Wewoka, "Barking Water", to the settlement because of the noise made by the small falls located just east of the settlement.

In 1866, a trading post was built, and in 1867, the first Post Office was commissioned with Elijah Brown named as the Post-Master.

Although many of the Seminoles followed the leadership of John Jumper, the U.S. federal government  recognized Big John Chupco as the Chief of Seminoles. When allowed an election John Jumper became Chief. Jumper soon resigned as Chief, for he felt a need to spend his time in church work at Spring Baptist Church, which he had also organized. 

 John F. Brown was elected Chief. Governor Brown, as he was called, was the son of Dr. John Brown who married a Seminole girl, Lucy Graybeard. John F. Brown was the oldest child of their marriage. Governor Brown was well-educated and was successful in keeping the peace within the tribe and the Seminoles began to enjoy a period of peace and prosperity.

The first school founded among the Seminoles was established in 1843 and was called Oak Ridge Mission. This school was sponsored by the Presbyterian Church. The leader of this school was John Bemo, a young Seminole man who was the nephew of the Florida war Chief, Osceola. This school was abandoned before the Civil War and was replaced by another school called Ramsey Mission, located three miles north of Wewoka. In 1880, a school for girls was founded about three miles west of the present town of Sasakwa. In 1892, a boy's school was built three miles south and two miles west of the present city of Seminole. This school was known as the Mekusukey Mission for Boys. In 1893, the Sasakwa Girls school was united with a new girls' boarding school called Emahaka Mission, located five miles south of Wewoka.

Black Drink Singer

Although he was not a chief, Osceola's ability and fiery spirit made him the symbol of resistance and a key leader in the Second Seminole War. He was captured while under a "flag of truce". Osceola died in 1838 while imprisoned at Fort Moultrie, South Carolina.

Source: African Towns Today  and They Came from Florida

Black Slaves, Red Masters Part 1  / Black Slaves, Red Masters Part 2

Black Slaves, Red Masters Part 3

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Faces At The Bottom of the Well: The Permanence of Racism

By Derrick Bell

In nine grim metaphorical sketches, Bell, the black former Harvard law professor who made headlines recently for his one-man protest against the school's hiring policies, hammers home his controversial theme that white racism is a permanent, indestructible component of our society. Bell's fantasies are often dire and apocalyptic: a new Atlantis rises from the ocean depths, sparking a mass emigration of blacks; white resistance to affirmative action softens following an explosion that kills Harvard's president and all of the school's black professors; intergalactic space invaders promise the U.S. President that they will clean up the environment and deliver tons of gold, but in exchange, the bartering aliens take all African Americans back to their planet. Other pieces deal with black-white romance, a taxi ride through Harlem and job discrimination.

Civil rights lawyer Geneva Crenshaw, the heroine of Bell's And We Are Not Saved (1987), is back in some of these ominous allegories, which speak from the depths of anger and despair. Bell now teaches at New York University Law School.Publishers Weekly  

Derrick Bell   Dies at 80

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Salvage the Bones

A Novel by Jesmyn Ward

On one level, Salvage the Bones is a simple story about a poor black family that’s about to be trashed by one of the most deadly hurricanes in U.S. history. What makes the novel so powerful, though, is the way Ward winds private passions with that menace gathering force out in the Gulf of Mexico. Without a hint of pretension, in the simple lives of these poor people living among chickens and abandoned cars, she evokes the tenacious love and desperation of classical tragedy. The force that pushes back against Katrina’s inexorable winds is the voice of Ward’s narrator, a 14-year-old girl named Esch, the only daughter among four siblings. Precocious, passionate and sensitive, she speaks almost entirely in phrases soaked in her family’s raw land. Everything here is gritty, loamy and alive, as though the very soil were animated. Her brother’s “blood smells like wet hot earth after summer rain. . . . His scalp looks like fresh turned dirt.” Her father’s hands “are like gravel,” while her own hand “slides through his grip like a wet fish,” and a handsome boy’s “muscles jabbered like chickens.”

Admittedly, Ward can push so hard on this simile-obsessed style that her paragraphs risk sounding like a compost heap, but this isn’t usually just metaphor for metaphor’s sake. She conveys something fundamental about Esch’s fluid state of mind: her figurative sense of the world in which all things correspond and connect. She and her brothers live in a ramshackle house steeped in grief since their mother died giving birth to her last child. . . . What remains, what’s salvaged, is something indomitable in these tough siblings, the strength of their love, the permanence of their devotion.WashingtonPost

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The White Masters of the World

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By W. E. B. Du Bois

W. E. B. Du Bois’ Arraignment and Indictment of White Civilization (Fletcher)

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Ancient African Nations

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Negro Digest / Black World

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The Death of Emmett Till by Bob Dylan  The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll  Only a Pawn in Their Game

Rev. Jesse Lee Peterson Thanks America for Slavery / George Jackson  / Hurricane Carter

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The Journal of Negro History issues at Project Gutenberg

The Haitian Declaration of Independence 1804  / January 1, 1804 -- The Founding of Haiti 

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