Column: Jeopardy misses the full story behind Osceola's battle

"A recent edition of the TV quiz Jeopardy offered the question of who an Indian named Osceola might have been. One contestant suggested "Creek" and two declared "Seminole." Those two were declared correct by the ceremony master, Alex Trebek.

I felt sorry for the person who suggested "Creek," because Osceola was indeed a Creek Indian, born in Alabama and a migrant to Florida, where the Seminole Tribe was struggling to maintain itself against an ever-encroaching population of white U.S. citizens, protected and encouraged by U.S. troops and volunteers.

Heading the Indian removal was President Andrew Jackson and his Indian Removal Policy. His treaties stripped the southern tribes of three-fourths of Alabama (native to the Creek) along with parts of Georgia, Tennessee, Mississippi. Kentucky, North Carolina. and Florida. The U.S. Supreme Court weighed in with a ruling that it was illegal for Indians to hold title to land and Congress complied by passing the Indian Removal Act. Jackson's aim was to drive the "Five Civilized Tribes -- Cherokee, Chickasaw, Choctaw, Creek and Seminole" west of the Mississippi."

Get the Story:
Media Matters: Osceola Who? (The American Spectator 5/29)

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