Seminole & Creek

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Seminole Burning: A Story of Racial Vengeance

SKU: 9780878059232
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Product Description

In 1898 after the murder of a white woman, two young Seminoles were chained and burned alive. Hiding behind a wall of silence and fearing reprisal for identifying the executioners, virtually the entire white community became involved with the ghastly execution. In this absorbing narrative Daniel F. Littlefield, Jr., captures the horror and details the events that incited this alarming act of mob violence and community complicity. Seminole Burning not only gives an account of a dramatic, violent chapter in Indian-white relations but also provides insights into the social, economic, and legal history of the times. Although occurring during the heyday of lynching in America, the execution of the young Seminoles proved to be not just another sad episode in the history of injustice. Apparently a vendetta organized by the family of the dead women's husband, it was orchestrated by landless whites, who for a week after her murder had harassed and terrorized more than twenty Seminole men and boys in selecting victims. Because the lynchers took the victims out of Indian Territory and into the new state of Oklahoma for execution, the case became a target for federal investigation. With the conviction of six this became the first successful prosecution of lynchers in the Southwest. Seminole Burning is more than the story of a lynching and an account of how landless Americans invaded Indian Territory. By placing this tragic case in context and against the large backdrop of history, Littlefield connects it to federal expansion of court jurisdiction, to federal attempts to dissolve land titles of the Five Civilized Tribes, and indeed to the establishing of the state of Oklahoma.