Jumper, John (ca. 1820–1896)


Chief John Jumper (Hemha Micco) of the Seminole Nation was born circa 1820 in Florida. Although his parents’ names are unknown, he was a nephew of Micanopy. A member of the Baptist church, Jumper became an ordained minister in 1865. He served as the pastor of the Spring Baptist Church near Sasakwa in present Seminole County until 1894.

Jumper fought against the United States during the Second Seminole War (1835–42) and arrived in Indian Territory as a military prisoner. He became the principal Seminole chief following the death of his brother, Chief James Jumper, circa 1849. In 1850 he led a delegation to Florida and encouraged the stalwart Seminole to remove west. As chief, Jumper supported the establishment of Presbyterian schools among his people, and he oversaw the founding of the Seminole Nation in 1856.

In 1861 Jumper reluctantly agreed to an alliance between the Seminole and the Confederate States of America. During the Civil War he served as major of the First Battalion Seminole Mounted Rifles and as colonel of the First Regiment Seminole Volunteers. He participated in the engagements at Round Mountain, Chusto-Talasah, Middle Boggy, and Second Cabin Creek.

Jumper represented the Southern Seminole at the Fort Smith Council of 1865 (the United States recognized the loyal John Chupko as the principal Seminole leader). Jumper was elected chief of a united Seminole Nation in 1882 and was succeeded by his son-in-law, John F. Brown, in 1885. John Jumper died at his home near Wewoka, on September 21, 1896.

Jon D. May

Tiny Horrors: A Chilling Reminder of How Cruel Assimilation Was—And Is

Dreaming With The Ancestors


Indian freedmen and their descendants have garnered much public and scholarly attention, but women’s roles have largely been absent from that discussion. Now a scholar who gained an insider’s perspective into the Black Seminole community in Texas and Mexico offers a rare and vivid picture of these women and their contributions. In Dreaming with the Ancestors, Shirley Boteler Mock explores the role that Black Seminole women have played in shaping and perpetuating a culture born of African roots and shaped by southeastern Native American and Mexican influences.

Mock reveals a unique maroon culture, forged from an eclectic mixture of religious beliefs and social practices. At its core is an amalgam of African-derived traditions kept alive by women. The author interweaves documentary research with extensive interviews she conducted with leading Black Seminole women to uncover their remarkable history. She tells how these women nourished their families and held fast to their Afro-Seminole language — even as they fled slavery, endured relocation, and eventually sought new lives in new lands. Of key importance were the “warrior women” — keepers of dreams and visions that bring to life age-old African customs.

Featuring more than thirty illustrations and maps, including historic photographs never before published, Dreaming with the Ancestors combines scholarly analysis with human interest to open a new window on both African American and American Indian history and culture.