Graduation Year

2009

Document Type

Thesis

Degree

M.A.

Degree Granting Department

History

Major Professor

John M. Belohlavek, Ph.D.

Keywords

Ethnogenesis, Cimarrones, French and Indian War, Spanish Florida, Cowkeeper

Abstract

This work reevaluates commonly accepted interpretations of Seminole ethnogenesis in light of recent scholarship and previously ignored sources from the Spanish archives. It argues that Seminole formation was largely a bi-product of a struggle between two opposing Lower Creek factions: the Creek "nationalists" and the ostensive Creek "partisans" of the British. This factional struggle became increasingly bitter during the French and Indian War and ultimately led to a schism whereby the ostensive "partisans" of the British colonized of the Alachua savanna in the early 1760s to become recognized as the first Florida Seminoles. This work also raises questions about the ostensive Anglophile identity of the first Seminoles and suggests that such an "identity" was based largely on deception and theatrics. In closing, this work addresses the institutional basis of the myth of Seminole aboriginality.

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