~ Rothila ~
The Muspa (Indian) Underground Railroad to Mexico
Muspa; Red Stick; Muskogee
Creek,Chata, Seminole,Alibamu,Chiksha, Kosati, and several smaller families
Up until the early 1800's, a fugitive slave from eastern plantations simply needed to cross the Mississippi River to enter Mexico by maneuvering their way through Muspa talofa havens stretched across southeastern North America moving west from one tribe to the next, all the way into the mostly unsettled, northeastern Mexico. Or the absconders put themselves under the protection of an Indian, which sometimes was a mixed blood Black Indian, by becoming his slave, working land given to them, for a few years, and at times remaining there, taking on an Indian wife for a family. At that time, slavery under an Indian master was quite different from enslavement to a white man; rather than chattel-like controls, ownership was feudal.
~ C. J o r d a n ~
Americans realized the routes their rebel slaves used and since Gen. Andrew Jackson hated the Red Sticks he lobbied the federal government for the destruction of the route, with the annihilation of the Muspa supporting the escapees. Beginning with the more powerful Creeks. The Lower Creeks who lived along the Atlantic shores allied with the Americans and promised them that they would assist the invaders in capturing the Seminoles in Florida and conquering the Upper Creeks who lived more inland and in the mountains of Georgia and Alabama.
To destroy the underground escape route, first, the army cut off the final stop of slaves in flight at the Mississippi River; the U. S. bought Louisiana Territory from the French in 1803 and sieged Chata and Kosati towns. The Creek War on the Upper Creek, Red Sticks in Alabama and western Georgia began in 1812 and ended on the Tallapoosa River in 1814. Two years later, Jackson (Jacksa' chula harjo = ol' mad or crazy Jackson) soldiers and sailors destroyed Fort Nicholls, the "Negro Fort" on the eastern bank at the mouth of the Apalachicola River on the Gulf of Mexico, where Africans and Indians attacked supply boats sailing up the river into Georgia for needy soldiers. In 1818, war was declared on the Seminoles when Jackson's forces attacked south of the Witalacoochie River; an agreed upon boundary between Seminoles and Americans, continuing his desires to destroy the Red Sticks and eliminate slave escape routes into slave free Mexico.
Andrew Jackson was elected to the presidency in 1829 and served through 1837. During his tour, the Indian Removal Act was passed by less than five votes and enacted in 1832, forcing all Black and Red indigenous peoples to Arkansas Territory, west of the Mississippi River. But Mexicans continue allowing fugitive slaves into their country, so Jackson pushed further. He chose his most faithful officers and soldiers of the Creek and Seminole Wars in Alabama and Florida, to take northern Coahuila. He gifted his former army co-harts with all the land they wanted for establishing colonies on the Mexican permitted lands in northeastern Coahuila, Mexico and building themselves a new republic. Permanently shutting off the African people's route to freedom. Colonel Sam Houston, Colonel Edward Burleson and his sons, and other officers and soldiers from Jackson's former military ranks, moved into Coahuila with Black Indian "POW's" (as they told Presidente Santa Ana) for slaves.
In 1845, Texas and Florida were annexed into the U. S. and by 1850, all free Blacks had to be out of the state of Texas. Blacks ran in droves to south of the "Rio Grande". Texans declared that there were already over four thousand fugitive slaves living in or near the Sierra Madre Mountains, not counting the hundreds of others who continued southward, as far as they could get, from the river border.
The U.S. shut down the underground route from the east to Mexico, but when Istalusti, Cimarone and Black Indians called "Freedmen", were moved into Indian Territory, they refused to tolerate the harsh treatment and possible enslavement in the Los' Pla'ns (Lost Plains). Black "renegades" escaped the reservations and ran north into Kansas Territory, west to Indian Nations there, in unsettled areas of the western U. S., and south to unite with the free Blacks in Mexico.
When the Seminoles arrived in Mexico from Indian Territory in 1850, they found thousands of Black American fugitives in the Sierra Madre mountains: The Gordon family from Georgia, the Shields from South Carolina, Dixie and Fletcher clans (all who later married into the Seminole tribe) are examples of a few of the successful flights from the southeastern U. S. into Mexico. Also residing in the country as free Blacks were hundreds of those of Cimarone ancestry removed by the Spanish when Florida was turned over to the U.S., between 1818 when papers were signed, and 1821 when the land was ceded. The Spanish took these Black citizens into their territories located along the gulf shores.