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United States. Office of Indian Affairs / Annual report of the Commissioner of Indian Affairs, for the year 1855
([1855])

[Southern superintendency],   pp. 119-177 PDF (23.0 MB)


Page 172

.94 
REPORT OF THE 
way of inducing the Seminoles yet remaining in Florida to immi- 
grate. That they never will consent to do so, in the present condition 
of the Seminoles west, is manifest to all who are at all conversant 
with these people and their character. 
The discontent and complaint among the Seminoles at their con' 
nection with the Creeks have, during the time I have been in office, 
been confined;to mere utterance. No violence has ever taken place. 
I am of the opinion, from what I have heard said among them, that 
the Creeks themselves are also wearied of this union to their "troub-
lesome neighbors," and that they are anxious for its end. They can-
not live harmoniously. Complaints of Creeks against the Seminoles, 
of Seminoles against the Creeks, are continually arising.  There is 
no such thing as unity between them, nor the prospect of it, and a 
disunion would result to the benefit of both tribes. 
Justice to the Creeks causes me to say here, that the tribe, as a na- 
tion, in the midst of their own advancement, are desirous that the 
Seminoles should become a happy and improved people. But they 
must be satisfied that such-.a state cannot arrive under the present 
organization of the Seminoles. The latter, high spirited, and not 
always mindful of Creek laws and the treaty of 1845, are prone to 
disobey those laws, especially in the introduction of whiskey, not so- 
much from a law-breaking spirit as from the thought that it is Creek 
and not Seminole law. This course -arouses the ire of the Creeks, 
more, I apprehend, from the defiance of their law than from the loss 
of the good to be brought about by the law. Still, differences arise 
and ill feelings are engendered and fostered. On the other hand, the 
Seminoles complain that, in many transactions, the Creek laws are 
oppressive; that they are acts passed by councils to which they send 
no voice, (the Creeks have repeatedly invited them to take seats in 
their councils, but the Seminoles have refused to do so on the ground- 
that they would thus recognize the right of Creek legislation Over 
them,) and that therefore those laws are domineering, unequal, and 
unjust.  Being enforced, or threatened to be so, by a numerical 
strength, the Seminoles are too disposed to defy or evade Creek laws 
as often as possible. Hence mutual recriminations. 
I am firmly convinced that the Seminoles will continue thus to dis- 
regard Creek laws as often as they can, will continue to grow more 
and more discontented, will continue to become more, unsettled, unless 
some steps are taken, until indeed they are separated from the Creeks 
upon fair and equitable terms and conditions as respect both tribes. 
In that event, and in no other, I verily believe that the Seminoles 
will improve in the same ratio as the Creeks have done; that the 
Creeks themselves will be benefitted, and that the two tribes will then 
live harmonious neighbors, which I know to be the sincere desire of 
the best spirits of each nation. 
To the hope of this political separation, from the Creeks the Semi- 
noles are now anxiously turning, and the consequences of its finally 
proving but a false one will be deplorable. The feeling is become so 
strong that a great many of the Seminoles who have heretofore be- 
come Creeks, as it were, to all intents, are proposing to rejoin their 
tribe. The prospect upon the separation is favorable for the complete 


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