© Doug Sivad, 2011
M U S K O G A Seminole Indians of Mexico Texas
Mexico & the Muskoga (Mascogo) Indians
Juan Cavallo; Juan Nikla; John Payne; Gopher John; Chief John HorseJohn Horse in Florida, Engraving by N. Orr, 1858 from Joshua Giddings, "The Exiles of Florida," 1858.
After a short six year stint in Indian Territory, Muskogee Seminole chiefs John Horse and Wildcat led their tribes (families) away from the injustices of slavery practices in "duh Los' Pla'ns," in 1849. During their escape, the men and women, defended themselves with only bows and arrows, as they crossed Red River, headed through Texas to Coahuila, Mexico. The tribes
crossed the Rio Grande River at Piedras Negras in the dark of night because "we nuh know what the Mex'can dem fuh gwine sey".
After an agreement with Coahuila's Sub-Inspector Lieutenant Juan Manuel Maldonado the families settled at Moral on the shores of the
river, as a mercenary force to protect Mexico's northern border, along the
Rio Bravo (Rio Grande)
. The Mexicans labeled Chief John Horse's
dark skin Seminole tribe the Mascogo
of record, pronounced
Mus KO' guh
When the warriors were away on patrols, kidnapping slavers (Rip Ford, Captain Warren Adams, and smuggler Jose Maria Carbajal, in particular) would sneak across the border and snatch Seminole children for selling in Texas. John Horse complained to Presidente Santa Ana who allowed John and his followers to move further into the state's interior, to Nacimiento Valley. John wouldn't allow himself or his people to get involved in Mexico's civil affairs. He wouldn't even allow the Muskoga children to fight with Mexican children. He said that the Mexicans gave them a home when they had no home.
At Valle de Nacimiento del Mascogos, Coahuila, Mexico with Santa Rosa Mountains of the Sierra Madre Oriental Mountain Range in the background
.When John Horse wasn't the unanimous choice as Head Chief after Wildcat's death, he took most of his followers further south to the laguna at Parras just north of Saltillo, and named the town El Burro. Juan Kibbitt, his Sub Chief remained at Nacimiento.
After coaxing from emissaries from the Territory, most of the remaining Indios went back to Indian Territory where some were ambushed and killed, and others, when they didn't get their promised land, ran for Kansas. Many of them practically clothes less, fleeing women, children, and elderly died along the trail in knee-deep snow. Black Muskogee warriors stopped and fought battles with their pursuers to give the families a chance to escape. And in Mexico, only their cousins remained as the sole Seminole element .
Lopez de Santa Ana Benito Juarez Manuel Gonzalez Napoleon Bonaparte III Maximilian I
In the early 1860's, Mexico was under the rule of France's Napoleon III (Charles Louis Bonaparte) through his installed Presidente Maximillian I, an Austrian. Napoleons crack army pushed north from Chapultepec (Mexico City) robbing and destroying villas, into the state of Coahuila; Muskoga country. Napoleon's army was defeated and forced out of the state by the Muskoga at El Burro. Benito Juarez' forces reinstalled Mexican control of Mexico. America and Texas owe a debt of gratitude to the Muskoga warriors for, unknowingly, preventing Napoleon's attempt at entering Texas while its protection forces were away fighting in the Civil War. The French hoped to control and connect the Mexican and French Canadian borders.
In 1882, Chief John Horse disappeared after receiving "duh papuh" from Presidente Manuel Gonzalez protecting Seminole lands in Mexico. Afterward, the Mascogo split up, some around Mexico, while most returned to the U.S.Yet today, Nacimiento remains a vibrant community.
Some Faces In Nacimiento, Coahuila, Mexico.