Struggle for Survival, 1817-1858
The War Years and How the Seminoles Became Unconquered
On December 14th, 2015, the Ah-Tah-Thi-Ki Museum opened its newest exhibit, Struggle for Survival 1817-1858. Often called the Seminole Wars or Florida Wars, the years of 1817-1858 are recounted by many Seminoles as one long war of resistance. The Seminoles wanted to live on their chosen lands and not move west under the Indian Removal Act of 1830. This exhibition will explore the tactics the Seminoles used to fight the U.S. government and the tools they needed to survive in the hidden Everglade hammocks. Oral histories of the stories and traditions passed on from the war years provide the Seminole voice to a history largely written by U.S. troops.
This exhibit explores the struggles faced during the war years to help exemplify the strength of the Seminole people today. The exhibit also features the Buckskin Declaration, which was presented to President Eisenhower in 1954. This document is a declaration of sovereignty and the right of the Seminoles to live their lives as they see culturally fit.