5 Native American Communities Who Owned Enslaved Africans

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Photo: Indian Country Today Media Network
Photo: Indian Country Today Media Network

Seminole

The Seminole held some Black people as slaves; however, a unique relation evolved between them and enslaved Africans who had fled to Florida to escape slavery on white plantations. Many Black people found a comparable form of freedom among the Seminoles and they were allowed a form of sanctuary in exchange for paying an annual tribute of livestock, crops, and military assistance.

In general, the Blacks never wholly adopted Seminole culture and beliefs, nor were they accepted into Seminole society because they were not considered Native American. They typically lived in their own independent communities, elected their own leadership, and could amass wealth in cattle and crops. Black Seminoles were also able to bear arms for self-defense.

 

 

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