Hear this … Here!
On Ramp to I-95 Exit 24 in FL To: FL 84 near Ft Lauderdale
“The next few Exits are in Fort Lauderdale. Fort Lauderdale exists because of the Seminoles. It was built as an outpost to defend against the Seminoles during the Seminole Wars in the years before the Civil War.
The Seminole Tribe of Native Americans gets a lot of respect in Florida. Teams, like Florida State, are named for them. And why not? They are in fact the only Tribe that did not formally sign a treaty of surrender with the US Government.
Another Fast Fact: The Seminole Wars — and not the current Mideast Conflicts — are the longest wars in US History. Starting about 1810, The Seminole Wars spanned over forty years. Around the time of the Second Seminole War in the 1830's and 1840's three forts named Fort Lauderdale were constructed along the New River. These outposts were to keep the Native Americans south in the Everglades.
The Seminole Indians were actually bands from different Indian tribes that had escaped south from what was the United States and had taken refuge in the large un-inhabited tracts of swamp. Many were Creek Indians from Georgia. And many were escaped slaves as well.
In fact as far north as Virginia, so-called Seminole Trails trace the path for Slaves south to Freedom. Many so-called Trails are still called such today and many, like the Seminole Trail in Charlottesville Virginia, are now official state roads. Anyways, intermarriage was common and these people became known as Black Seminoles.
The Seminoles became famous as swamp fighters using guerrilla tactics and eschewing horses for canoes to swiftly navigate the mud sucking swamps. By May 10, 1842, when a frustrated President John Tyler ordered the end of military actions against the Seminoles, over $20 million had been spent, 1500 American soldiers had died. Still no formal peace treaty had been signed.
While many Seminoles had been displaced to Oklahoma's Indian territory, walking the Trail Of Tears, the remaining Seminoles began the 20th century where they had been left at the conclusion of the Seminole Wars - hiding out in remote camps in the wet wilderness areas of South Florida.
They may have been poor. But they were free. And they remain so to this day.
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