to Slavery (Boston: R. F. Wallcut, 1871), pp. 202-3. 4See Foster, and Edwin C. McReynolds, The Seminoles (Norman: Univ. of Oklahoma Press, 1954). 5Willis' article originally appeared in the Journal of Negro History, 48 (July 1963), 157-76. It has since been reprinted in several anthologies. Willis also indicates that white colonists may have given up enslaving Indians (or shipped Indian captives off to slavery in the West Indies) because they believed that Indian slaves might stir up black slaves to revolt or run away. Willis does not mention that after 1800 there is ample evidence that Indian nations, like the Creeks and Seminoles, often used their black slaves when fighting against white men or against each other. This content downloaded from 126.96.36.199 on Thu, 01 Nov 2018 01:26:04 UTC All use subject to
370 American Quarterly white policy in the years when the Indians and blacks in the Southeast out- numbered the white settlers and could, together, have wiped out the whites. But while this policy of divide and rule succeeded among the Creeks and Cherokees to some extent, it did not succeed among the Seminoles. For the Seminoles lived in Spanish Florida under a rather different social order. Since the Seminoles were, according to all reports, more friendly toward blacks than any other Southern tribe, we obviously need to ask why. Was it the difference between the institution of slavery as practiced in Spanish and English colonies? Was it Spain's different cultural attitude toward racial miscegenation? Was it a less rigid or clearly established plantation economy in Florida and hence lack of interest in recapturing runaway slaves (most of whom, incidentally, came to the Seminoles from Georgia and not from Spanish slaveowners)? Did the Seminoles as outcasts or "runaways" from the Creek Nation in Georgia need the blacks to aid them against Creek raids (some of the blacks were runaway Creek slaves)? Were the Seminoles too weak to control the slaves; had they no economic use for them; did the terrain, soil, climate make it difficult to utilize slave labor in farms or plantations? It appears from the writing of Kenneth Porter and Laurence Foster that none of these were so important as the political necessities, especially after 1776. Florida was not well settled or defended by its European owners. Americans were eager to encroach upon it. Both Spain and England (when it controlled Florida between 1776 and 1783) used the Seminoles and their slaves as buffers against the expansionist tendencies of the Georgians. If, in pre-Revolutionary Carolina, white imperialists had consciously divided In- dians against blacks for survival, so in Florida, conscious white imperialist policy encouraged black and Indian fraternization and solidarity along the American border (even providing them with arms and forts) to fight against other whites. In both cases, Carolina and Florida, red and black men were the tools of white men, consciously used by them to foster white goals.