Wednesday, April 18, 2007

When we asked, he said nothing, nothing at all.

There is little of the Indian lore which seems to be substantial. The shifting sands of sentiment for and against the American Indian tend to wear away more documentation with those shifting sands.

Osceola was born in Alabama in 1804 to a Creek Indian mother. There's not father's name on the birth certificate, but he went by the name of Billy Powell for many years. His "Stepfather"; was a Scotsman by the name of Powell, though he took Osceola as his name . Osceola is itself a corruption of the word "Assin-ye-ola"; a long, drawn-out cry that accompanied the ceremonial drinking.

Osceola led armed revolts against U.S. Army forces which sought to force the Seminoles back on to lands reserved for them on designated Indian lands west of the Mississippi. In September 1837 Osceola was captured while negotiating under a white flag of truce. While may American were happy to have this aggressive Indian finally under arrest, many citizen took strong exception with their government due to the manner by which he had been taken . By December Osceola and about 200 others were taken to a prison at Fort Moultrie, SC

Landing at Sullivans Island, SC, New Years Day 1838, visitors were surprised to see Osceola clad in a Union Officer's uniform and that he was granted full liberty within prison compound yard. Some of the leading lights of Charleston society went to Fort Moultrie to meet and visit with Osceola. By year's end, Army Doctors had diagnosed Osceole with a throat infection which was the result of Malaria. Thereafter, Osceola declined to allow trained medical doctors to tend him preferring instead to call in the voodoo healers form his tribe. On January 18, 1838, he died.

Osceola one frim request was that he be allowed to rest in peace, but that was violated by an Army Doctor removing Osceola's head. So, we are parked at the site of the grave of , say, 80% of Osceola.

We recall ghostly stories from elders when we were kids. On held that the teller had gone late one night under the full moon to graveside to ask Osceola what he had done to deserve this. Osceola was to have replied: Nothing, nothing at all.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think that Fort Moulrie is a great place to visit. I've been to the grave site many times. It is sad that his last request wasn't granted. I think that so many Native Americans did nothing to deserve the treatment that they received. Our people deceived and were greedy. Roll it forward over 200 years and it's the same story.

2:36 PM  

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