The legend John Horse was born near Micanopy, Florida during the time of the War of 1812, his mother was an African woman who was a slave of his father, who was a Seminole Indian slave trader named Charley Cavallo. John Horse and his mother were the property of Cavallo but lived in one of the Oconee Seminole settlements populated by black people along the Suwannee River. In 1817 during the First Seminole War, John Horse’s settlements along with others were raided by American forces led by then President Andrew Jackson. They displaced many families and enslaved a number of the black people they captured; following the displacement of the Seminoles John Horse was living amongst the Oconee Seminoles near the Tampa Bay. As a child John Horse was known as Juan, he earned the name “Gopher John” after it was discovered that he was swindling his personal cook, he would sell him the same tortoise pretending it was different tortoises, in exchange for the cook’s meals; the particular tortoise he was using was the gopher tortoise.
Leave a Reply.
On the Shoulders of Giants
The mission of On the Shoulders of Giants, Inc. is to provide an innovative and informative approach to educating middle school, high school, college age and young adults, about the history , culture, influence and impact of the heroes and culture of the African diaspora.