tv Book Discussion on The Enduring Seminoles CSPAN August 7, 2015 6:40pm-6:56pm EDT
rolling and they would have become independent. they would not have become independent and the time. it would have taken longer, and perhaps the conditions under which they became an independent -- they became independent would not have been the same. they possibly would not have agreed to certain things. possibly, they would have been more discontent among different parties. eventually yes, we would have been distant -- we would have been independent. and not as quickly and not with the results that happened. >> the seminole tribe has six reservations in florida. while we were there, c-span spoke with kathy west. >> kathy west have worked with
tribes in florida for many years, studying their history. passing: these are cyprus. they are men -- they are used to make the post. and this is a cyprus terminal. >> we visited her home to talk about her book and to see her personal collection of tribal artifacts. patsy: in discussing native americans in the u.s., obvious the, it was not necessarily the intent of anyone to date the trial in the u.s., they witness. -- thank goodness. the government has gone through so many different processes of thinking, as has the population, with what to do about the native americans in the u.s., what to do for them, where to put them.
if you look at jackson, he simply said, ok, we are going to dump everybody over here out of the way. and that is how the oklahoma area and the reservations there were populated. basically i can only speak for the seminole, and again, it was people who thought very much of them as people who started the reservation need here in florida, some place to find land to put people they cared about very much. it's never been the same horrific situation as some of the reservations that were started early on out west when the government out like they wanted to keep them on reservations. my research picks up in 1828 where i have been living 15 minutes away from here. -- i have them living 15 minutes away from here. they were basically living on
the hahnemann on the other side of the everglades. sam jones was the person who was the mastermind of the second patsy: -- the second seminole war. this brings into reality. now we actually have names of people who are actually living here in the everglades. we know they were down here in the 1700s as well. as most of the books discuss the seminoles were pushed down into the everglades, not so. they were living in the area and when they decided to come down that is what they had lived for generations. when the u.s. got florida as a news eight, there were indians left over -- as a new state. they were indians left over from the creek war. they didn't know what to do about that.
andrew jackson decided because there were so many seminole and creek in the northern part of the state to put them on reservations that were military, let say, to round them up in order to then send them off at prescribed times two oklahoma territory. and of all the southeastern indians that were moved off like significantly the cherokees that actually had an alphabet and were carrying their own culture very well in georgia they were moved out west. nobody really protested until they got to florida. and the major leader in the second seminole war was sam jones. he is the subject of my next book, actually. he's the great patriot, because he fought so hard to keep them here in florida. one of his lieutenants, and all
of them were captured eventually, all but sam jones. he kept himself in the back. most people had never met him. he was the leader. he was the mastermind. he was the great strategist and great medicine person and spiritual leader. and it was literally, as i told my kids at school, if it wasn't for him they wouldn't be here today. because the idea was to take all of the seminoles and ship them off to oklahoma territory. in the third seminole war as well, he was still around. he kept his leadership until after the wars. and a lot of the things traditional people do and say and feel, a lot of the things that are teachings that have come down that i have recorded in my research, they're actually the teachings of sam jones. it is the way he wanted things to go.
and one of the things is to keep very reticent. and for a long time, that is how it was, a lot of reticence. when you were chased as long as they were from the first seminole war three 1817-1858 you get a certain feeling about the government. the government. that is not mean that you cannot have friends that are not indians. you can have the best friends. but the government, there is that always that feeling. and being able to be on their own as the two tribes are today because of gaming has given them a great feeling because they've always been independent. they were without a doubt of everybody i studied in the southeast, one of the most nationalistic people. they were egotistical. they wanted to make sure their culture was known. after the seminole wars, the
people would go into town to trade. they would bring in their health and plumes and hides, as dr. harry kersey has written in his book of the same name. plumbing went out by law. the deer skins and alligator hides for still brought into trading post. and sometimes on the river the trading people also became the tourist attraction people. and they were in business with the indians, so a lot of people did that. that was the major means of transportation for the seminole in their dugout canoes. after that, it was only natural that the people living on the river would think about the idea of dealing with the indians. there are two different ways around 1917 it is thought that the seminole came and first set up their tourist villages.
it really had to do with a bus company and with a cold freeze a really bad freeze in 1917. the indians always wanted to come in by the water to be warm. that would be their normal way to do it. cap by the water when he got cold. dash cam -- camp by the water when it got cold. when the buses when out on a trail, it was an obvious. any trail or road when he cut a cost -- quite across -- when it cut across the everglades, it made it difficult for the indians. when they set up their villages along the way, sometimes only lien twos, the buses would stop. because he was a tourist attraction. when they came into tourist
attractions, they were getting a weekly allotment of food. and they were sometimes getting the rental of sewing machines where carpenter would rent and other people would use them. they would also sometimes get fabric because it behooved tourist attraction people to supply them with fabric. so they were selling and making things for craft market. this is -- sewing and making things for craft market. this is a little boys shirt. this was annexed or mental time for patchwork. -- this was an experimental time for patchwork. this is a little bit bigger design. sometimes they were not used any longer than that particular decade, really. but this is a really cute little fellows shirt. and the colors you see there are typical of the 20's as well.
the orange, especially the purple. whether or not these were colors that were just available, or whether these were colors that the seminoles particularly picked out because they liked, no one has really done an analysis on that. but the pink and the mustard and purple were very heavy in the 20's. this is really cultural tourism. that is how i thought when i was writing and starting to collect material in the 1970's. this was a positive thing for these people. but i was living with them. i knew them so well and i knew that they still looked up henry coppinger when they came to town until he died. it was part of their history. while they were in the tourist attraction, sometimes the owners or the people who leased the tourist attractions, they sometimes would have a great idea that the seminoles could follow, something they thought
they should make like a potholder or something like that. the palmetto dolls were very popular. it is a typical seminole doll. the body is made out of palmetto fighter and hairstyle is from the 19 -- al meadow fighter -- palmetto fiber and with a 1940's hairdo. there are variations. this one is an older style of hair that was worn out at brighton where they would gather it up in a bun like that. she's got some patchwork in her skirt. these dolls are what brought coffee money into families when there was no other way to make too much money. the market was down and the stalls pulled the people through some hard times. that is not necessarily
something the indians used themselves but when they develop those little dolls, that kept a lot of families in money. so it was trial and error. the things that were really successful are still being used today. it gave a boost to their economy -- our economy and of course, a boost to the seminole economy because that is where it all began. in 1979, when james billy was chairman, he was handed a contract that said "bing and he ran with it. o" he had to grapple with bob butterworth, who is our sheriff at the time and he later came up into politics in tallahassee. it was a leadership issue at the point. the seminole sovereignty had not been tested or tried at that point. james had been in vietnam and
was now chairman. he wanted to see how far he could go with this. basically, that is how gaming came to the seminole, with a contract, trying to see what they could do with the sovereignty given to them by the british. and on sovereign reservation land given to them by the americans. they were just trying to see how far they could go. they did not want to be the wards of the government. they were very poor. they didn't want welfare. they would get welfare from the ladies organizations that would close them and feed them and send them to school. they wanted to be independent. james pushed it to see how far it could go. it would be open 24/seven. they didn't have to obey the laws of florida. that is what they proved. and then getting into casino
gaming, the u.s. government was not prepared for that either. but as it went through the process, they got permission to have casino gaming on their sovereign reservation land. and they went out and taught the other tribes in the u.s. many of them also impoverished, on how they could do that. that is how native americans. into gaming. -- native americans got into gaming. gaming is as good as anything when you have nothing. you look around on the reservations and some of them are terrifically isolated. what do they have? how can these people make a living like other people do in the cities, let's say. whether it is gaming or whatever it may be and with the individual family proceeds very
high, this is what everybody here in america wants. and is viable. it is something that works. that is basically how it has been here in florida. the seminoles, the creeks, the brightens, they had all been part and parcel of our communities from the time we first homesteaded. >> we close out the c-span cities tour of fort lauderdale with a visit to the alex haley exhibit at the cultural center. he was the author of roots, the son of an american family, and co-author of the autobiography of mathematics, and a winner to -- a winner of the pulitzer prize -- the autobiography of malcolm x. and a winner of the flow surprised in literature.