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Wed, 07.28.1813

Pilaklikaha Florida Is Founded

*The Black Seminole town of Pilaklikaha, Florida, is celebrated on this date in 1813.  Established about one mile east of Bushnell and two miles north of Tarrytown, Florida, it was a needed refuge from white-American oppression against Africans and indigenous Native people.   

Pilaklikaha means "many ponds" in the Mikasuki language, and Pilaklikaha was the largest and most prosperous Black Seminole town in Florida, with a population of 100 men, women, and children. Many Black Seminoles were formerly enslaved Africans who fled bondage to Spanish Florida following the American Revolutionary War. Driven into the Alachua and Suwannee regions by Georgia and Tennessee militias, they joined and mingled with the native Seminoles.

Black Seminoles, though not formally adopted into the Seminole Tribe, formed a relationship with the native Seminoles who protected them from slave catchers in exchange for military aid and a portion of their crops as tribute. At its peak, Pilaklikaha contained timber, thatch-and-daub homes, corn cribs, and fences. Residents may have accumulated few possessions beyond simple dishes, arms, beads, and hand-made brushed pottery.  

Black Seminole warrior Abraham founded Pilaklikaha, which exemplifies the intersectionality between African and Native Americans.  During the 1820s, the settlement was visited by two white-American officials, Horatio Dexter and Lt. George McCall, who reported herds of cattle and horses along with fields of rice, beans, melons, pumpkins, and peanuts.  

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Poetry Corner

When you lie again in the street of forgetfulness smashed beyond recognition courting the dark avenue, when you wake to the alien walls that do not touch your... TO A WOMAN POET THAT I KNOW by Pinkie Gordon Lane.
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