tv Book Discussion on The Enduring Seminoles CSPAN May 31, 2015 5:40pm-5:57pm EDT
and it is the thing that happens with the disciples of christ. but another denomination. they call themselves christians because they do not want to be in a micro group like a methodist or lutheran or baptist. they want to be playing all christians. what happens to them? they become another denomination. so we get out of that impulse to resolve the problem of pluralism that we will talk about next time as well. and the diversity panel you end up getting more diversity. more religious possibilities. ok, thank you. our time is up for this panel. thank you to all three of you. a wonderful conversation. thank you to all of you for your questions. [applause] >> you are watching american history tv. 48 hours of programming on american history every weekend on c-span 3. follow us on twitter @c-span history. for information on her schedule of upcoming programs and to keep
up with the latest history news. this year, c-span is touring cities across the country exploring american history. next, a look at our recent visit to fort lauderdale, florida. you are watching american history tv all weekend, every weekend on c-span 3. >> patsy west has worked closely with the seminole and suki tribes in southern florida for more than 40 years. studying their history to tell their stories. patsy: these are cyprus. cyprus is used to make the posts, and these are items that would have been made for tourism, our little turtle, the cyprus turtle. >> we visited her home to talk about the personal collection of tribal artifacts. patsy: in discussing native americans in the u.s., obviously it was not necessarily the intent of anyone to annihilate the tribes in the u.s. thank goodness.
but 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 and where to put them. if you look at jackson, he simply said we are going to dump everybody over here out of the way, and that's how 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 to find the land to put people they cared about very much. so it's never been this same situation as some that were started early on out west when the government falsely can they
wanted to keep them on the reservation. my research actually picks up in 1828 where they are just 15 minutes away from here practically downtown fort lauderdale. they were living right outside of the everglades, and sam jones is one of those people who was the mastermind of the second seminole war, and also one of the clan people. this brings it to reality. now we have names of people that were living here in the everglades, but we know they were down here in the 1700's as well. so where most of the books discussed, they were pushed down into the everglades not so. they were living in settlements, and when they did decide to come down in the middle of the seminole wars, that's where they
came to the same place he lived for a generation. when the u.s. got florida as a new state, there were indians left over from the creek war that came down. they did not know what to do about that. andrew jackson decided that because there were so many seminole and creek in the northern part of the state to put them on reservations that were military, let's say, to round them up and send them off at the prescribed times to oklahoma territory. of all of those that were moved off like that significantly the cherokees that had an alphabet and were carrying their own culture very well in georgia were moved out west. nobody protested until they got to florida, and the major leader
in the second seminole war was sam jones, and he is the subject of my next book because he is a great patriots because he fought so hard to keep the miccosukee here in florida. 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 a great strategist, a great medicine person, a spiritual leader. and it was literally as i told my kids, if it wasn't for him, they wouldn't be here today because the idea was to take all the seminoles and ship them off to oklahoma territory. so in the third seminole war as
well, he was still around. he kept his leadership until after the war, and a lot of the things that traditional people do and say and feel, a lot of the things that are teachings that have come down that i've recorded in my research are the teachings of sam jones. in the way he wanted them to go, and one of those was to keep very reticent. when you have been chased for as long as they were from the first seminole war, pre-1817, to 1858, you have got a certain feeling about the government. that doesn't mean you can't have good friends that are non-indians. you can always have good friends, but with the government, there is always that feeling. being able to be on their own as the tribes are today. it is giving them the great feeling as the unconquered seminoles.
they were without a doubt of anyone i studied in the southeast was one of the most nationalistic people. they were egotistical. they wanted to make sure their culture was known. after the seminole wars, the miccosukee people would go into town to trade. it went out about 1917 by law but the other two kept going for quite a while so deer skins and alligator hides were still brought into trading posts and sometimes on the river to trading post people also became the tourist attraction people. a lot of people did that for the major needs of transportation for the seminoles.
there are two different ways around and first to set up the tourist villages and both of them have to do with a dusting company in the really bad for use in 1917. and they always wanted to come in by the water to the warm. the normal way with the two kept by the water when it got cold and so that is sort of the way that they eased into the business with some of them going out onto the trail. as the one that cut across the everglades both made it difficult to get to town so when they set up their villages along
the way the buses would stop because here was a tourist attraction. seminoles camping by the road, and so when they came to the attraction they were getting food, weekly allotment and the rental of sewing machines where coffinger would rent and other people would use them when they lived in the tourist attraction. they would also sometimes get fabric because it used to tourist attraction people to supply them with fabric so they were sitting there selling and making things for the craft market. this is a little boy's shirt from the 1920's. this was an experimental time for patchwork. this is not a design that made it down today.
the designs were bigger in the 1920's, and sometimes they were not used any longer than that particular decade, really. but this is a very cute little shirt. and the colors you see are typical of the 1920's as well as the orange, especially, the purple. whether or not these are colors that were just available or whether these were colors that the seminoles particularly picked out because they like us, really nobody has done an analysis on that, but the pinks and the mustards and the purples were very heavy in the 1920's. this was cultural tourism, and that is how i saw it when i was writing the material in the 1970's. this was a positive thing for these people. i was living with them. i knew them so well, and i knew they still looked up to
coffinger when he came to town until he died. they thought this was granted, and this was just part of their history. when they were part of the tourist attraction, sometimes the owners who would lead the attraction would also have some great ideas that the seminoles could follow, something they thought they could make, like maybe a potholder or something like that. the doll culture, for instance the seminole doll. the body was made out of palmetto fiber. the style is from the 1940's, and this has become the traditional kind of doll that people expect to see at the seminole tribe. there are variations. this is a very sweet one made by gobi tiger. the hair is gathered up under a bun.
these dolls provided coffee money for families. when there was no other way to make much money. the market was down and the dolls pulled people through hard times. that wasn't necessarily what they used themselves but when they developed those little dolls, it kept a lot of families in the money. so it was trial and error. that is where it all began. gaming came into the seminole tribe in florida in 1979. he was handed a contract that said bingo. when james billy was chairman. he was handed a contract and he ran with it. he had to grapple with robert
butterworth, who was the sheriff at the time and then later moved up and became in politics in tallahassee. and it was a legal issue at that point. the sovereignty at that point had not been tested or tried. this is not anything militant, but james had done tours, and he wanted to see how far he could go with this. so basically that's how it came was to see what they could do with the sovereignty given to them by the british, the sovereign reservation land that had been given to them by the americans, so they were just trying to see how far they could go. they didn't want to be the wards of the government. they were very poor. they didn't want welfare because they used to get welfare from the ladies organizations in fort lauderdale that would close of
them and feed them and send them to school. they didn't want that. they wanted to be on their own. they wanted to be independent. so james pushed it to see how far he could go. he got bingo. they were able to be open 24/7. they didn't have to obey the law in florida. that is what they proved. and then getting into the casino gaming, the u.s. government wasn't prepared for that either but as it went through the process, they got permission to have the gaming on the sovereign reservation land. then they went out and taught the other tribes in the u.s. how they could do that as well and that's how they got into gaming is through the sovereignty issues that were brought up and presented, testing sovereignty to see how it would go by james billy in the seminole tribe in florida. gaming is as good as anything when you have nothing. you look around on the reservations.
some of them are terrifically isolated. what did they have? how could these people make a living like other people do in the cities, let's say? whether it is gaming or whatever it might be, and with the individual family's proceeds very high, this is what everybody here in america wants and it's viable. it's something that works and that's basically how it's been here in florida where the seminoles, the creeks, and the miccosukee had been here, part and parcel. >> find out where c-span's city tour is going next online at c-span.org/city tour.
you are watching american history tv all weekend, every weekend on c-span 3. you are watching american history tv. 48 hours of programming on american history every weekend on c-span 3. follow us on twitter @c-span history for information on our schedule of upcoming programs and to keep up with the latest history news. >> each week, american history tv "reel america" brings you archival films that tell the story of the 20th century. 35 years ago on may 18, 1980, an earthquake beneath mt. st. helens caused a volcanic eruption that killed 57 people and destroyed almost 150 square miles of forest. >> mt. st. helens a sleeping volcano. nestled in the wild abundance of the gifford